. Greetings are formal and the oldest person is always greeted first.
. Handshakes are the most common form of greeting with foreigners.
. Many Chinese will look towards the ground when greeting someone.
. Address the person by an honorific title and their surname. If they want to move to a first-name basis, they
will advise you which name to use.
. The Chinese have a terrific sense of humour. They can laugh at themselves most readily if they have a
comfortable relationship with the other person. Be ready to laugh at yourself given the proper
Gift Giving Etiquette
. In general, gifts are given at Chinese New Year, weddings, births and birthdays.
. The Chinese like food and a nice food basket will make a great gift.
. Do not give scissors, knives or other cutting utensils as they indicate the severing of the relationship.
. Do not give clocks, handkerchiefs or straw sandals as they are associated with funerals and death.
. Do not give flowers, as many Chinese associate these with funerals.
. Do not wrap gifts in white, blue or black paper.
. Four is an unlucky number so do not give four of anything. Eight is the luckiest number, so giving eight of something brings luck to the recipient.
. Always present gifts with two hands.
. Gifts are not opened when received.
. Gifts may be refused three times before they are accepted.
. The Chinese prefer to entertain in public places rather than in their homes, especially when entertaining foreigners.
. If you are invited to their house, consider it a great honour. If you must turn down such an honour, it is
considered polite to explain the conflict in your schedule so that your actions are not taken as a slight.
. Arrive on time.
. Remove your shoes before entering the house.
. Bring a small gift to the hostess.
. Eat well to demonstrate that you are enjoying the food!
. Learn to use chopsticks.
. Wait to be told where to sit. The guest of honour will be given a seat facing the door.
. The host begins eating first.
. You should try everything that is offered to you.
. Never eat the last piece from the serving tray.
. Be observant to other peoples" needs.
. Chopsticks should be returned to the chopstick rest after every few bites and when you drink or stop to
. The host offers the first toast.
. Do not put bones in your bowl. Place them on the table or in a special bowl for that purpose.
. Hold the rice bowl close to your mouth while eating.
. Do not be offended if a Chinese person makes slurping or belching sounds; it merely indicates that they are
enjoying their food.
. There are no strict rules about finishing all the food in your bowl.