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Things I Learnt NEVER TO DO IN CHINA

Popularity 12Viewed 9329 times 2014-3-25 16:39 |System category:Life| articulate, important, something, friends, articleThings

My Dearest and ever articulate readers,

This is a new week and I think I should write something here in order to brighten-up your week, sit tight,relax and open your inner minds as you read my first article of the week.

In China, if you want to make more Chinese friends as a foreigner, It gives you important tips on what not to do if you really want to win friends and make a good impression with your Chinese friends .
There are some 'Do's and Don'ts' which you must follow accordingly and judiciously , on this article, I will talk about the Don'ts.  Reading this article may save you from certain embarrassment and humiliation one day. . Please, follow these tips and learn from it:


1- Never get upset in Public

Public displays of anger are frowned upon by the Chinese and are most uncomfortable for them to deal with — especially if the people getting angry are foreign tourists, for example. This goes right along with making someone (usually the Chinese host) lose face, which you should avoid at all costs. The Chinese place a premium on group harmony, so foreigners should try to swallow hard, be polite, and cope privately.

2-Never accept a compliment graciously
You may find yourself at a loss for words when you compliment a Chinese host on a wonderful meal, and you get in response, "No, no, the food was really horrible." They expect you to say works like " mama huhu(马马虎虎)“ or " Na li, Na li哪里哪里” whenever they tell you words like, "your Chinese is very good" while some will say, "your Chinese is very guda" (No, disrespect but just keeping it real).
These people aren't being nasty . . . just humble and polite.  A little less boasting and fewer self-congratulatory remarks go a long way towards scoring cultural sensitivity points with the Chinese.

3- Never address people by their first names first
Chinese people have first and last names like everyone else. However, in China, the last name always comes first. The family (and the collective in general) always takes precedence over the individual.  For example , my chinese name is Lî Míng,  assuming I am a Chinese, you can safely refer to me as Mr. Lî (not Mr. Míng).

Unlike people in the West, the Chinese don't feel very comfortable calling each other by their first names. Only family members and a few close friends ever refer to the man above, for example, as simply "Míng." They may, however, add the prefix lâo (lao; old) or xiâo (xiao; young) before the family name to show familiarity and closeness. Lâo Lî (Old Lî) .

4- Never make someone lose face
The worst thing you can possibly do to Chinese acquaintances is publicly humiliate or otherwise embarrass them. Doing so makes them lose face. Don't point out a mistake in front of others or yell at someone.

The good news is that you can actually help someone gain face by complimenting them and giving credit where credit is due. Do this whenever the opportunity arises. Your graciousness is much appreciated. For example, "Give a round of applause for Laoshi , for giving us a wonderful lesson today" THEY LOVE THAT.

5-Never let someone else pay the bill without fighting for it
In the past, I was  stunned the first time I witness the many fairly chaotic, noisy scenes at the end of a Chinese restaurant meal. The time to pay the bill has come and everyone is simply doing what they're expected to do — fight to be the one to pay it. The Chinese consider it good manners to vociferously and strenuously attempt to wrest the bill out of the very hands of whoever happens to have it. This may go on, back and forth, for a good few minutes, until someone "wins" and pays the bill. The gesture of being eager and willing to pay is always appreciated.

6-Never show up empty handed
Gifts are exchanged frequently between the Chinese, and not just on special occasions. If you have dinner in someone's house to meet a prospective business partner or for any other pre-arranged meeting, both parties commonly exchange gifts as small tokens of friendship and good will. Westerners are often surprised at the number of gifts the Chinese hosts give. The general rule of thumb is to bring many little (gender non-specific) gifts when you travel to China. You never know when you'll meet someone who wants to present you with a special memento, so you should arrive with your own as well.

7-Never take the first "No, thank you" seriously
Chinese people automatically refuse food or drinks several times — even if they really feel hungry or thirsty. Never take the first "No, thank you" literally. Even if they say it once or twice, offer it again. A good guest is supposed to refuse at least once, but a good host is also supposed to make the offer at least twice.

8-Never accept food, drinks, or gifts without first refusing a few times
No self-respecting guests immediately accept whatever may be offered to them in someone's home. No matter how much they may be eager to accept the food, drink, or gift, proper Chinese etiquette prevents them from doing anything that makes them appear greedy or eager to receive it, so be sure to politely refuse a couple of times.

9-Never drink alcohol without first offering a toast
Chinese banquets include eight to ten courses of food and plenty of alcohol. Sometimes you drink rice wine, and sometimes you drink industrial strength Máo Tái, known to put a foreigner or two under the table in no time. One way to slow the drinking is to observe Chinese etiquette by always offering a toast to the host or someone else at the table before taking a sip yourself. This not only prevents you from drinking too much too quickly, but also shows your gratitude toward the host and your regard for the other guests. If someone toasts you with a "gân bei," , you should accept it in a polite way.

Gân bçi means "bottoms up or drink all," and you may be expected to drink the whole drink rather quickly. Don't worry. You can always  take just a little sip instead.

What do you think about these list? any addition or subtractions?

I remain loyal and GIDIGBA(my hometown language meaning STRONG),
Peace to you all,
Hon.(Ambassador) OBJCHINA.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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Comment Comment (26 comments)

Reply Report ColinSpeakman 2014-3-25 18:01
Great list. I add... In a formal meeting, where you exchange business cards (holding card in two hands), never immediately put it away and in a pocket it can get crumpled. The custom is to lay the business card in front of you and study it carefully and then put it somewhere evidently important and to care for it. Otherwise you show disrespect to the other person.
Reply Report nnish 2014-3-25 18:14
ColinSpeakman: Great list. I add... In a formal meeting, where you exchange business cards (holding card in two hands), never immediately put it away and in a pocket ...
Good one.
I think more and more people should start reading these blogs and learn.
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-25 20:51
ColinSpeakman: Great list. I add... In a formal meeting, where you exchange business cards (holding card in two hands), never immediately put it away and in a pocket ...
Very correct, A business Card should be Cherish in front of the issuer
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-25 20:52
nnish: Good one.
I think more and more people should start reading these blogs and learn.
Blogs are very useful nowadays, I have also read other people's blogs and they are very educative.
Reply Report MissBarbara 2014-3-25 21:52
Great, and so very true.A,must read for all laowai!!!
Reply Report Anming 2014-3-25 22:26
In German speaking countries we also do not directly use the first name. It can take a long time, even years, until you offer each other an informal "you" when talking. Even my High School Teacher would call me by my surname.
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-26 00:49
Anming: In German speaking countries we also do not directly use the first name. It can take a long time, even years, until you offer each other an informal  ...
That's cool,but I think the Chinese people takes theirs more serious than any other country
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-26 00:50
MissBarbara: Great, and so very true.A,must read for all laowai!!!
You can say that again, how are you today?
Reply Report dyqx1981 2014-3-26 01:23
very useful lists, i want add...... never compliment "she is sex gril" when you meet chinese grils and want to be friends.
if you say sex gril, we will feel that this person is frivolous and politeness (-:
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-26 01:29
dyqx1981: very useful lists, i want add...... never compliment "she is sex gril" when you meet chinese grils and want to be friends.
if you say sex gr ...
Very correct!  if a Chinese girl hear that, she disappears immediately
Reply Report mutafire 2014-3-26 06:52
Never...Never Ever talk about sex... 'we are traditional, you foreigners are so open!' the girls will say....
Reply Report AndrewPKU 2014-3-26 08:21
mutafire: Never...Never Ever talk about sex... 'we are traditional, you foreigners are so open!' the girls will say....
And yet, traditional Chinese culture was completely open regarding sex.
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-26 15:04
mutafire: Never...Never Ever talk about sex... 'we are traditional, you foreigners are so open!' the girls will say....
That is very common....even when you never say something direct, they foreigners are too open.
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-26 18:12
AndrewPKU: And yet, traditional Chinese culture was completely open regarding sex.
of course yes.
Reply Report voice_cd 2014-3-27 10:02
Thanks for sharing your story here, we have highlighted your blog.
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-27 13:03
Thanks.
Reply Report chessgame 2014-3-27 21:23
mutafire: Never...Never Ever talk about sex... 'we are traditional, you foreigners are so open!' the girls will say....
when these girls as young as they are display affection in public is there any chance that they don't do it in their rooms?i may consider that action is better than the alternative.how scary is the word "sex" to these girls who won't stop banging at you for more.i have come to understand how complicated the word culture means in it's true meaning
Reply Report icyeyes 2014-3-27 21:49
Wa hoho, you are really excellent at chinese culture.
Reply Report chessgame 2014-3-27 21:58
i can imagine how deep rooted you gone in this land.while i agree with most of your points, i will like to ask a few questions on number,1,4,5 and 8.number one is about public display of anger.how will you react after 30 minutes waiting to see a doctor and he comes,the first thing he says is "you hei ren".when you step in to consult people who are'nt even sick comes in to hear what you are sick of.just fill the area just because a black man wanting to see the doctor.man,i didn't keep my cool.i walk every one out and first talk to the doctor with stern look warning him not to refer to people by their skin color.there many other things that you have to grow balls to beat the odds of publicly displaying your anger.number 4.suppose you are in a bus and some one makes an uncompromised statement,how do you educate the person?take the person out of the bus and talk to  privately?if you dont tell the person the right thing how does he or she gets to know where he or she went wrong?there is no chance you will see the person again.making the person lose face will send sirens to others if they really care about their faces they wont next time.a bent iron is easy to be striaghten when it's hot.so hit it when is hot.number 5.paying the bill.i wont rush to do that why because if i invite you for what ever is because i planned for it and wasnt expecting some one else to pay the bills.what is the use of paying the bills and regret after?you dont need to please others to displease yourself.no way man.number 8.i see no reason why a NO can mean a YES.if i get to a chinese home if i am to eat anything i will and if i dont feel,there is no way you can get me to.i should say NO at first and later ask for more bowls.how does that look like?that is just me man.i pick up some other new facts in your list and other post.in all is a complex society.
Reply Report objchina 2014-3-28 19:05
chessgame: when these girls as young as they are display affection in public is there any chance that they don't do it in their rooms?i may consider that action  ...
Some of these girls pretend and hide under the umbrella of culture. Whereas,she wants to have sex with a foreigner.

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