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Planning A Vacation In China? Here’s How Not To Offend Anyone

Photo credit: Flickr

Photo credit: Flickr

Although the Chinese people are not particularly known for being the most polite bunch in the world (they do say this themselves), you shouldn’t take that as a free-pass for being rude in China.

China is a beautiful place to spend your vacation in, and the people are really nice as well. It’s only fair to learn about some Chinese etiquette so you could avoid offending everyone there and therefore return the same amount of respect you were presented with.

Do Not Gift Someone With A Clock

When you gift a clock to a Chinese person, you are basically telling them that you are counting down to their death. As you would imagine, they won’t like it.

Do Not Serve Food With Used Chopsticks

If you take the chopsticks you’ve been eating with and start serving everyone, you will not only gross everyone at the table but you will also offend everyone in the area.

The polite and hygienic way would be to use separate serving chopsticks or the unused end of your chopsticks to serve others.

How would you like it if someone would serve you with their unwashed utensils?

Do Not Invite Them Out And Ask Them To Go Dutch Later

If a Chinese person was to invite you for dinner, they will insist on paying for the whole thing. Therefore, if you invite a Chinese person to dinner, they will expect you to do the same. If you ask them to “go Dutch,” they will most certainly pay their portion but don’t expect them to accept your invitation the next time.

Do Not Talk Badly About Mao Tse-Tung

This man is still beloved by the Chinese people even many years after his death, so even if you have bad things to say about Mao (which wouldn’t be so surprising to a Westerner), it is better to keep it to yourself.

Do Not Hold Back On Drinking

“Gan Bei!” This is more frequent among men. If you go out with a Chinese man for drinks and he toasts you to go bottoms up – you have to go bottoms up. Otherwise, you will offend him and he will begin to question your manhood. By not drinking the same amount or more, you are telling him that you do not respect him enough to drink the same amount he just drank when he toasted you.

Do Not Point Out Their Mistakes

Chinese people will do everything in their power to not “lose face.” They will also try to save the face of those around them. When you point out a Chinese person’s mistake, you’ve humiliated them by shining a spotlight on their error, which prevents them from “saving face.” This may be the best way of offending a Chinese person and you will be basically banned from their life from that moment on.