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Traditional Chinese manners: How well do you know them? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-12-22 17:50:50 |Display all floors
This post was edited by knox1234 at 2013-12-22 18:00

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Traditional Chinese Manners: Sure, you know the one about not making too much noise when you eat, but how about the one about no hands under the table?

Dining out in Beijing's packed local restaurants have given many of us the impression that there's a distinct lack of social graces associated with eating around these parts. However, China does have its set of traditional rules, some of which are upheld as holy scripture while others seem to have fallen by the wayside somewhere along the line.

A set of images describing traditional Chinese manners -- mostly related to dining -- has been recently making the rounds via Chinese social media. There's no particular origin sited for these manners, nor an explanation for why most revolve around the dinner table. However, there's no arguments from netizens that these are traditional values that deserve upholding, and many expressed surprise that they had never been taught these things when they were young.

So suffice it to say the next time an uncouth diner is slurping his soup next to you, you ain't alone in lamenting the loss of manners.

The original post was allegedly posted by well-known, old-timey Cross-Talk celebrity Guo Degang on his Weibo account, then illustrated by Xinhua with the images below.

Some of these rules seem like old saws even to foreigners (who hasn't heard the one about chopsticks in the rice bowl?) -- but others may be news to you: No hands under the table, no asking if there is any food left, and no sitting cross-legged. Yet others of these rules to be all but universally ignored (doesn't just about everyone pound frantically on doors and slurp their soup?)

How many of these are you familiar with? And how many do you see obeyed when dining out or in a Chinese friend's home?
Here they are, in no particular order:


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Post time 2013-12-22 18:03:11 |Display all floors
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1. Chopsticks should never be stood upright inside a rice bowl as illustrated, as it makes it look like an incense burner that is used to honor the deceased.



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Post time 2013-12-22 18:10:44 |Display all floors

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2. Don't tap your chopsticks on your rice bowl or other dinnerware, as it makes you look like a beggar.



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Post time 2013-12-22 18:11:39 |Display all floors
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3. When knocking on a door, rap once, then rap twice. Pounding on the door urgently is for reporting the death of a loved one.



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Post time 2013-12-22 18:13:01 |Display all floors
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4. Guests wanting second helpings must never ask "Is there any food left?" (还有饭吗 hai you fan ma?) for fear of suggesting there isn't enough food; this may also cause the meal's host to lose face for forgetting to keep their guest's bowls filled. (Guests can insinuate they want more food by saying something like, "That is a very delicious dish.")



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Post time 2013-12-22 18:13:38 |Display all floors
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5. Once you sit down to eat, you should never change seats. Running around with a bowl of food in your hands makes you look like a beggar.



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Post time 2013-12-22 18:14:15 |Display all floors
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6. Children should wait for adults to start before beginning to eat.



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