Social and Cultural Etiquette in China | CHINA TRAVEL TIPS

Social and Cultural Etiquette in China | CHINA TRAVEL TIPS

Hi guys, welcome back to another episode of China travel tips If you are new here I have some previous videos that I’ve made that covers a wide range of topics including scams to avoid simple Chinese phrases for traveling as well as just really Essential things you should know before you make your trip to China. So I’ll lists all of the videos down below I also have a free sort of prepare for your trip Checklist that you can get as well and I’ll link them all down below in the description Box, and if you are new here and you like this video, please hit the subscribe button. I would really appreciate it Thank you guys so much. Let’s jump right into today’s topic So today we’re gonna be covering a social and cultural etiquette in China Now this is good for both business or pleasure If you’re meeting someone new and you don’t know what’s the right thing to do.. the topics We’re gonna be covering today are greetings and we’re gonna be covering dining etiquette What is the polite and respectful thing to do when you’re dining out with a bunch of people? We are also gonna cover what’s sort of the polite thing to do when you visit family and friends And also lastly I’m gonna cover some things that may seem not acceptable for you But it’s totally okay to do in China So the first thing we’re gonna cover today is greetings Now if you’re there for business the person that you’re meeting might already be aware of your cultural etiquette and they might offer their hand for a handshake however it’s not the norm in China for people to shake each other’s hands when they meet and also It’s not normal to hug each other either so definitely no handshaking usually No hugging I actually will try to hug my grandma when I go back to visit and or anyone and I just always get this like stiff sort of uncomfortable vibe from people. So no, no hugging It’s not really acceptable in China or it’s not really the norm Per se and also if your European the kiss kiss we don’t do that either So those are the things that we don’t do when you meet someone the normal thing is sort of just to nod and smile So it’s like oh, hi my name is Dia nice to meet you and you probably care like Oh like hi Nice to meet you. So No, no hugging no handshakes unless it’s a business Situation and they already know that then they’re the ones offering you their hand and no kisses no cheek cheek kisses So the second thing we’re gonna cover today is dining out. So dining etiquette when you’re in a social or business situation. now if you’re dining with a large group of people What’s most likely gonna happen is you arrive in the restaurant and the table has a giant circle that spins around and the host or whoever invited you out to dinner or lunch will be the one ordering from the menu and there’s gonna be maybe like ten twelve fifteen or twenty different dishes on the table for everyone to share Now the polite and respectful thing for you to do is to not be the first person to dig into the food so always offer everyone else first and It’s gonna be hard if you’re a guest because people will urge you to eat first and it doesn’t mean you absolutely Cannot be the first to eat because they will be insistent and you can accept however to show a form of respect You should try at least to rotate the table so that whatever dish is on the table is facing Someone else so that as a gesture of saying here you go first Now if you’re really trying to be polite and impressed whether that’s your client business partner or mother father-in-law the good thing to do is to pour tea or alcohol for them before you pour it for yourself pouring tea for someone is a really respectful thing to do and Sometimes you I see people that will do it for everyone around the table before they get the tea themselves So even if there’s like 10, 15 people you just go around and offer to pour tea for everyone else So this is a very polite thing to do Okay, so you are full and you’re ready to pay. How does that work? There is a whole game of like tug-of-war when it comes to taking the bill who’s gonna pay for the bill Everybody wants to pay for the bill So we don’t really split bills and and you don’t really split bills and I mean even amongst close friends sometimes one person just takes care of the entire bill. What happens is if you are invited to To dinner you can try to offer to pay for the meal However, it’s not very likely that the person will accept it I’ve seen families and relatives literally Physically fight each other just so they can pay the bill Now if you’ve been invited out a few times and someone always covers the bill and next time you want to pay for the bill What you kind of have to do is call the restaurant ahead of time and give them your card Information and tell them like don’t let them pay I am going to pay for this meal and even then best luck to you because sometimes you think you went ahead to pay but The person that’s dining with you might have called even earlier than you and given their card information to the restaurant. I have even seen relatives who wins the fight and they get to pay for the bill and The person who didn’t win ends up slipping like cash into their jacket pocket So it’s really bizarre and but it is the thing to do is you always offer to pay for everybody in Just another side tip. It’s impolite to flash money around So even if you’re trying to pay for the bill, that’s just try to do it as discreetly as possible Ok, so number 3 What’s the nice thing to do when you visit friends or family Oh Chinese people loves to bring gifts when you go visit someone So I think for elderly people it’s really great to bring them like vitamins or some like health Supplement and you can also bring like the fall back for everything is you can bring fruits Like bananas oranges whatever fruit is in season That’s what my family Would fall back on to bring if they don’t have anything else and a lot of times we will say no Don’t bring me anything. Don’t bring me anything It’s really cute because people always urge you to not bring anything, but the person who’s visiting always ends up bringing something Anyway, just be considerate that when you visit someone new they’re not expecting anything from you, but it’s the norm So if you want to sort of fit in or make them feel comfortable, like wow, they understand my culture You can definitely just bring a small gift with you and take it to the person that you’re meeting So I’m gonna cover something really quick conversation topics to avoid just steer clear of political talk if you’re in a dinner table just avoid talking anything about the government asking them questions about Like TM square or anything like that. Just talk about the weather the scenic places You’re excited to visit you can talk about food as well. You can always talk about food Okay, so lastly we’re gonna discuss some things that might not seem acceptable to you But it’s totally normal in China. That means people do it or you’ll see people do it So just be aware of those. Okay, it’s completely normal for someone to spit on the street I am NOT saying this in a way to critique anybody. It’s just the accepted norm I know that some certain cities have more strict rules or the government the City Council tries harder to bring awareness to people to not do these things like spit on the street or blow their nose on the street But you will see a lot of that happening and it’s just a norm. I’m mentioning here for the hundredth time Bring your own tissue paper when you go out there would not be tissue paper in the toilet for you there would not be tissue paper sometimes even in the restaurant toilets and lastly the idea of Queuing up or the idea of waiting in line and is lost in some places in China like again I’m not saying everybody is like this but that’s one thing is like lining up in public whether that’s for the train the bus Or anything that involves waiting in line it’s people it’s a way better now than when I was little but there’s still sort of a hard grasp on personal space as well as lining up and waiting your turn a lot of times when the train opens people who are waiting behind you will just Rush in or people might like carelessly bump into you. These are just some of the things that are normal for instance you or I might get offended if someone bumped into me without saying anything and I’d be like But when I see that happen to other people in China they don’t even pause for one second It’s just like oh whatever he bumped into me. That’s fine. It’s normal happens every day. So that’s something to be aware of again If you’re a foreigner visiting you’re not necessarily Expected to know these things and it’s not like you’re gonna be super frowned upon if you don’t know these things But now that you do you can impress the people that you’re going to meet and you can make a great impression on them And I think just a general rule of thumb don’t don’t judge people based on your own reality. In Western cultures It’s so normal to walk by someone and smile and even say hello, but it that’s not the way it is in China So just be aware of it just because for you your reality and your environment what you’re used isn’t matched up to someone else’s culture doesn’t mean that they have ill intentions or Rude mannerism towards you and that concludes our video for today in the China travel tip series I hope you enjoyed this video and please subscribe and give it a thumbs if you want to take advantage of my other China travel tips and guides videos all I’ve linked them all down below if you have Any questions or any thoughts actually about what I talked about today, please feel free to leave a comment below I would love to hear what you think and Whether that means your foreigner or if you are actually Chinese or maybe you were born in China, but moved somewhere like me I would love to hear all about your thoughts and if you have any other specific questions about how to interact in a social situation Feel free to ask me and I’ll help you out in the best way that I can so until next time I hope you guys had a wonderful New Year’s happy 2019 and Happy New Year and see you in the next video

88 thoughts on “Social and Cultural Etiquette in China | CHINA TRAVEL TIPS

  1. I hope you found these helpful or interesting:) Let me know if you have any questions or if you've experienced a social or cultural norm that was different from yours while traveling in China! – Dia

  2. This one time when I was young and eating with relatives and family friends, my parents slipped me cash and told me to pay the bill, and once I got to the counter, my even younger cousin was already in the middle of paying it ? my parents were not happy with me even though it was their fault for not sending me sooner ?

  3. These are really super helpful. My wife and I have been hosting International high school students from China for the past 6 years. This summer we are finally going to make a trip to China to visit some of their home towns. We are going to Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Xi'an. We will use some of your tips for sure. I am going to have to really dial back the urge to say hello to strangers as I pass them on the street ha ha. We also learned from our students that when they are given a gift it is rude to open it in front of the giver. They were amazed how at Christmas all the presents got opened in front of everyone.

  4. How general is this don't talk about government stuff thing? When I was in Hangzhou in July, I went out to eat with some friends and I mentioned that I saw a poster depicting Deng Xiaoping and we had a nice conversation about him, because I am from Romania and my country was one of the first ones he visited in the early seventies. And there was absolutely no problem with discussing Deng and his journeys, life, politics, whatever. I'm guessing it depends on whom you are talking with at the moment.

  5. (1) ???hug hug ? kiss kiss ? just BOW as sign of respect! …and OFFER to take off shoes when entering someone's house! (2) Ganbei?My take on alcohol is that it is a business tool to uncover the other person's TRUE motives. (3) WeChat completely throws off our ability to pay at a Chinese restaurant. I visited a friend in Guangzhou, and we went out to dinner. Before I knew what happened, she paid with her cell phone WeChat… something we US Americans can't do while visiting China, since our WeChat (if we even have one) has no link to our bank. Even if we have an account in a Chinese-owned bank in USA, it is a 100% separate company from the mainland China bank using the same name. In USA, I learned to just thank the other person and reciprocate next time. (4) What to bring while visiting friends and relatives. I guess if you bring vitamins to grandma, it's OK! If you bring it to friends… hmmm? Vitamins may imply they are sick. Chinese TEA – it is healthy, and doesn't imply anything!

    US Americans have a tendency to judge quickly, so thanks for your suggestion to not judge people outside your own cultural reality. ?

  6. haha so the takeaway is… Chinese people are rude and ignorant in public but unrealistically polite in close circles. lol sooooo my life though! can you imaging greeting someone in china with a double cheek kiss.. haha their shocked faces!

  7. They actually can fine you for spitting in the streets but because of the rapid urbanisation they overlook it ! They know countrysiders will need time to adjust to city etiquette.

  8. Whut?? no kissing in China? goddammit!! haha 😀 I'm going to China in February for 5 months. I'm extremely excited! 🙂

  9. Dia provides excellent, current, constructive information for anyone planning to travel in the countries she speaks of. She really does her homework, backed by recent experience in all of these countries. She is concise and to the point, yet relatable and warm with her presentations. These pieces are well worth watching, and I say that is based on my own recent travels. Thank you Dia. Very appreciated.

  10. Nice work Dia, love the tips. This might be a wild request, but I am actually looking into starting a business in China as a foreigner. If you can shed some light on this topic that would be great!

  11. Hi Dia Jin, Do you have any comments on the travel advisory which taken place today? I am concern about going to China for this new job I am trying to secure. I know this is a very odd light and I hate to place you under it, but should I be a concern? what do you think? you can PM me.

  12. 排队已经改善很多了,比我小时候强多了,吐痰这个真是坏习惯,尤其年级大的,不知道他们怎么那么多痰。

  13. So i went to China. Most of you tips from your previous vidoes helped alot. Thank you. I must say you forgot to warn us that they love spitting anyhow, anywhere….. And smokes aloooot. But overall enjoyed shopping and i loooved the street food. Very hot n you eat while stsnding right there. Am a fan of chinese food and i must say i looooved it!!

  14. Can you give a tip on how to get a Chinese lady?
    About dinner etiquette its ok if i spit while i am eating??? I mean that is a common thing in China

  15. Hey Dia! This is a very good informative video! Will have to check again before heading to China!! Keep up the good work! cheers!

  16. It would be interesting to show the main differences when you travel and chat with people accross China and HK. It's very surprising to see how the 2 cultures are very different

  17. ive never been to china 😀 dia! helmi has, these are great tips..i think i always found culture shocks with the chinese because even in australia some of the things they do may seem to be rude but somewhat in their culture it is acceptable, just different ways of whats acceptable and not here may not be the same there.

    the spitting part lol.. its like olympics, even here… just disgusting lol..

  18. Why do I find everything familiar hehe apart from the bill fighting part? This is helpful. I feel like am ready to visit China with all these awesome tips you share.

  19. Hello and thank you very much! I just love the culture and I think you are adorable! I'm learning a lot so keep it coming.

  20. Love your videos. New subscriber now. Very happy that I’ve found them. I’ve been to china 7 times now just for fun.

  21. Doing as much research as I can because I have an internship over the summer in Shanghai. Appreciate all the tips!! Hopefully I'll remember them lol

  22. I was shocked when I saw chinese friends used their own chopsticks to dig the sharing foods/soup. It is gross, not hygiene….pls no offended…

  23. 'liked'. Thanks for this very useful video. Talking about pouring tea for others first, the Taiwanese tend to tap on the table surface with the two knuckles of the bent fingers (ring and middle finger). This is to say 'thanks'. Perhaps people in the mainland won't know this gesture, which is a bit strange to me. Because apparently this has a basis in some story or history. Something related to how a king and his minister went out into the kingdom in disguise and the king poured tea for the underling. Since the underling could not say anything, he bent his fingers and touched the bent knuckles on the table. The bent knuckles look like the kneeling position when touched on the surface of the table.

    It's surprising to me abt no tissue paper in toilets, even in restaurants. More than 20 yrs ago when I was studying Chinese in evening classes, our book had a lesson titled "cesuo li meiyou weishengzhi" (There is no toilet paper in the toilet). A few years ago i had read somewhere that there is toilet paper in some places but they are using facial recognition to limit people to a certain number (two?). Maybe that was experimental.

  24. Thank you,
    Was terrified of my upcoming trip in April to my wife’s homeland (Beijing China) until hearing your videos. Now I’m just slightly nervous.

  25. LOL I am really enjoy watching your videos. I always try to watch black people in China videos because things are a bit different for us as in treatment anyway, your videos I watch so fare are very interesting. Thank you.

  26. Funny I always thought it was just me! Now being Chinese American it dawned on me why yes my family for the most part not big huggers either! I married a Mexican American & yes her family hugs…big time! I felt funny @ 1st! I'm getting there to accept the hugging though it can still be very difficult! I feel sad my 3 stepchildren love hugging too! Gotta get with the program I guess! LOL!

  27. foreigner means some one from not China but in china foreigner means not oriental….this is racist….should we start calling Chinese foreigners in Uk before they start calling us foreigner in our own country

  28. You should also make a video about the manner and behaves for Chinese travel aboard. Some of them are very arrogant; self-centered; ignorance and disrespect local custom.
    They make locals dislike them and they disgrace the local CHINESE


  30. is there a way to make a more private comment? its all clean nothing bad…im a writer of film script and id like to ask something concerning that nothing sleezy or bad…. thanks Dia

  31. Thank you, that was very interesting! From what you've described Chinese social culture is similar to Russian 🙂

  32. Please can someone help me understand. I have a Chinese friend who asked to visit our family this summer. My mother said it wouldn't be a good time since I am sick. We have not heard from the friend since and my mother reaches out with no response. Is this part of Chinese culture? What is wrong?

  33. Just saw this. Will look for more. I am planning upon visiting Fushun in October. Just waiting on my visa. Any travel asvise?

  34. you forgot spitting food all over the table and making loud noise is normal behavior what ever is polite in a civilized society just do the opposite like push everyone aside and grab all the food  as if it was your last meal seems to be normal in china cut in front of everyone else to buy a train ticket act as if Chinese are disposable people and know one is allowed to be special  china has a new social credit score to separate the crude from the civilized eventually they will exterminate the undesirable or put them in prison and sell there organs to the ritch.

  35. Good tips. I'm always interested in learning cultural norms of different countries, especially asian countries. Not that I'll ever get to go there.

  36. I am born and raised in Hawaii. Honolulu has a very high Asian influence, both Chinese and Japanese. There are always a few elderly Chinese people always waiting at my bus stop and I just noticed the other day how they do not wait in line. They always push up to the front ahead of the line. I think people just let it happen because they are elderly, but I did not realize it was something normal for them to do. In America, it is considered rude to cut in line of course, but Honolulu is a diverse city with many cultures, so I think a lot of the American culture is not applicable here.

  37. So I am moving to China tomorrow and all I can say is THANK YOU. you have made all of the information I have been accumulating just so much more concise and understandable. Thank you so much for the help

  38. You told a lot of things about Chinese cultural, that's true but pretty old. Thins are on going changed. For me and my driends around, we dislike that style of sham. I would like recommend foreigners, if you wanna make friends in China, just enjoy the time with Chinese, whateve did, chat, eat or drink, definetely a fun people is popular in China

  39. No, u're not very correct. If u hug chineSe friends or even a grandma? Probably grandma's super super stiff but in her heart she's feeling warm.

  40. i used to live in China for awhile, about 10 years ago, and you remind me of my ex-chinese girlfriend there, we've been together for about a year, I'm in Korea now but i still think of her and miss her sometime.

  41. Bumping and pushing is too be expected in a country housing 1/5 of the world's population. Westerners think it's rude that when they are bumped into and don't receive an apology. The Chinese think it's rude to get upset about something that should be expected.

    However, the Chinese are a people full of contradictions. As a foreigner, I'm expected to be super polite. When I act the same the Chinese (which wouldn't be a problem if I were Chinese) I get the stink eye.

    When I'm super polite, I never receive the same politeness in return. I open the door for an old lady and she thanks me and tells me what a gentleman I am and how polite foreigners are then she walks through the next set of doors and lets them slam in my face.


    This Is China

  42. The VPN doesn't work totally well now in China, cause they are banned from visiting the foreign website like youtube and BBC news, mostly for political reasons, but there is still something you could use in China, like the FastStunnel, which is an add-in for chrome browser, for my experience, it works fine untill now.

  43. As for dinner etiquette, you should have mentioned about toasting. It is common for a person of younger age or lower position to propose a toast to an older or more important person. They click the drink cups, and younger people should place their cups a little bit lower than then the older or important. When drinking wine or baijjiu, younger people should finish drinking first and say "Xian gan wei jin(I finish the drink first to show respect)", then after the older person finish drinking, fill up his or her cup. As for paying the bill, we actually don't fight like the way you drescibed. Usually, whoever hosting the dinner party should be paying for the bill dicscreetly. One last word for westerner travellers, we don't give tips, because the waiters and waitresses are paid by the restaurant owners. So just don't feel guilty for not leaving a tip.

  44. I'm Chinese, I don't know why I am here watching this video about something that I have been so familiar with. But whatever Dia mentioned in the video was so true and down to earth. Thumbs up for Dia. Love your videos.

  45. I’m adopted from China and I’m finally able to visit for my 16th birthday this upcoming summer. I feel soooo out of touch from my natural culture and I hope to learn a lot

  46. Hi Dia, You are great communicator and a charming actress . I am very impressed by your performance. Can you tell us about emergency medical services and hospitals, please? What is a tip policy? She-she! Dr.L.

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