2. Whenever someone is offering you a present or a compliment refuse a number of times first: The reason for this is to show humility and respect, if you accept a compliment or gift immediately it can be perceived that you are above them. Furthermore never open a present in front of your guests.
3. Being noisy as well as burping during meals is not viewed as impolite: In the West this is considered rude or impolite, however in China it is display of an enjoyable meal / gathering.
4. Asking personal questions is not viewed as impolite: Don’t feel uncomfortable if somebody ask about your age or your weight. Chinese people are very direct, and honesty is seen as a good quality, even calling somebody fat is not seen as impolite.
5. Being on your phone all the time is considered normal: In the current age where everyone has a smartphone and has a constant need to stay connected, it is not unusual for people, even couples to spend an entire meal together whilst constantly on their phone.
6. Never hug or kiss somebody to say Hello: It is not common for Chinese to kiss or touch each other when they say hello. If you do it to somebody and they are not familiar with Western customs they will be very confused. However if you pay enough attention, you will sometimes see (mainly) girls holding hands while walking on the street, this is considered normal and even cute, but it is mainly only acceptable for younger people whom are friends.
7. Never show your negative qualities to people, especially one’s you do not know: Chinese people rarely show their true feelings to each other, unless of course they are good friends or family, it is a sign of fault to show weakness, and people may take advantage of that fact if they see you as weak.
8. In case of conflict never publicly shame the other person: The most important thing for Chinese people is a concept called Face, put simply Face is similar to reputation. So in a delicate situation or a dispute, never do something which can be seen as an attack on their reputation.
9. Laughing is seen as a way of bonding and friendship: Sometimes people are laughing to hide their sadness, for example it is not uncommon for people to laugh even though they just learn of the death of a relative (though not always!). Some people also love to make fun of people because of the way they look, or their Chinese accent, it is not seen as malicious, but rather a humorous observation the best way to react is to laugh with them and take some Chinese classes at Miracle Mandarin.
Phone: 400-636-0171/ (86-21) 6247-6388
Address: 21F, 319 Changde Road, Shanghai
Learn Mandarin / Chinese
Learn Chinese in Shanghai / at Miracle Mandarin