Culture Shock! China - A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette, 2nd Edition

(Kiana) #1
Socialising 65

where you feel verbally attacked by a Chinese person that
you have a social or professional relationship with, pay close
attention to what is being said and find out as quickly as
possible what is behind it.

Local Friendships

Chinese people are open and friendly. They welcome an
opportunity to better understand you and your culture. A
gracious generosity toward others is deeply embedded in
their culture. Street-level, limited resource with too many
people to vie for it has demolished this grace, but it can be
experienced one-on-one as you make friends in China.
In Chinese society, a friendship means more than knowing
one another, it means that your lives and personal well-being
have become intertwined. It is expected that if you have
it within your means to help a friend achieve an aim, you
will, while they will go out of their way to do the same for
you. There is a subtle give and take that goes on, creating a
mutual bond between friends in China. You are not truly a
friend until you demonstrate an understanding of that. This
is not something that is overtly requested or anticipated, but
seems to be the flow of social fabric. Once you have reached
a friendship on this level in China, it is for life.

Sensitive Topics Not to Discuss:
„ The Japanese
„ Tibet
„ Politics and government
„ Tiananmen
„ Religion


Probably the most popular way for family and friends to
spend time together in China is around a banquet table.
A Chinese meal is as much about socialising as it is about
food. An important and easy way to stay in touch with past
colleagues, schoolmates and childhood friends is to invite
them to meals.
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