A modern Chinese name consists of two parts, the family name and a given name. Totally different from the names in most countries and cultures outside China, Chinese names are written with the surname first and the given name at the end. Take the famous basketball player Yao Ming as an example, Yao is his family name while Ming is the given name. Thus, please remember to address him Mr. Yao instead of Mr. Ming if you have the chance.
1) Dress appropriately and arrive at the meeting on time or slightly early.
2) Greetings are formal and remember to greet the seniors first.
3) Handshakes are the most common form of greeting with anyone.
4) Take the pre-scheduled seat if any. If you are not sure, please do ask the person concerned.
5) Address newly-met people by an honorific title and their family name.
6) A direct but soft eye contact and smile would be appreciated.
7) No interruption in the middle of anyone's conversation, contradict later if you wish to.
1) Generally speaking, presents are given at a good many occasions in China, such as traditional festivals, birthdays, weddings, house-warming parties, or even just visiting a friend's home and so forth
2) Gifts are supposed to be presented with both hands in order to show respect.
3) Gifts are not supposed to be unwrapped immediately, in front of the giver.
4) The following items are not suitable to be given to Chinese as gifts for they are associated with death or bad luck: clocks, straw sandals, a stork of crane.
5) Pears and umbrella are not appropriate gifts to couples because the pronunciation of them sound rather like “separation” in Chinese.
6) Scissors, knives or any other utensils with sharp ends are not a brilliant choice for presenting to Chinese friends since they have the implication of cutting off the relationship.
1) Arrive on time and bring a small gift to the host.
2) When coming to the table, the host would offer the guest to take the seat first and juniors would be seated after the seniors.
3) The host often starts eating first and offers the first toast.
4) It would be great if you can use the chopsticks deftly, but if not, please do not feel hesitate to request the knife and fork to prevent any farce.
5) No sticking the chopsticks upright in the bowl of rice.
6) No speaking with mouth full.
7) No tapping on the bowl with the chopsticks,
8) Try to eat the food that is offered to you.
9) Put bones or other inedible parts of the food away on the table or on the side of the plate.
Basically, Chinese aren't particularly stringent on the dress code issues. People put on formal clothes only at important occasions, such as wedding, party, business gathering, offices and so on. Casual daily wear would do just fine for the Beijing Duck Dinner. For the opera and the Tang Dynasty Dance and Music Show, a slightly formal get-up would be better, such as shirt and suite.
How should I greet Chinese people? Chinese people do not hug, kiss each other, either on the lips, cheeks or hands, under normal circumstances, only except for families and very close acquaintances. A simple smile is the universal language that could quickly elicit friendly ambience among strangers and needs no translation. At the formal occasions, handshakes are the standard for meeting strangers. As probably well-known across the world now, “ni hao” (你好), meaning “Hello”, is the greeting that can never go wrong in the country.
“Face”, or Mianzi, is quite important to Chinese people which has the meaning of pride and dignity. There are four types of “face” commonly used in Chinese culture.
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