Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lessons of Chinese Culture

Today, I learned some interesting things about the Chinese culture from various friends, of whom some are actually Chinese.

1. Unlike back home when your parents told you to eat everything, here it's a sign of prestige for you to leave food on the plate. Two things here, that you can afford to throw food away and second they think you are hungary, so they keep feeding you. (I know dad, but even these people went through a war!) A cute little story that I just heard. There was a gentleman who was invited to stay with some Chinese, and was offered two eggs for breakfast. After finishing the breakfast, another two eggs appeared on his plate, and so it continued until the poor man ate 10 eggs. As far as his host was concerned he was still hungry.

2. Unlike home ,where the host will wave at you as you head off after a evening dinner, here your Chinese host will walk you down to your car, bus, or even home. To not do this, is rather rude and inconsiderate in their eyes. This actually happened to me, but I figured it was a friend and thought that they were going in the same general direction.

3. If someone invites you to dinner, or you are the host and paying for the evening dinner, don't be shocked if some of your guests will get on the phone and start calling friends to invite them to your soiree. You may start off with 6 people. however by the end of the evening, you are enjoying dinner with 12 or 14 people, many you don't even know. All, I can say, is bring lots of cash, since credit cards are deemed worthless around here.

4. Again, different than back home, where we generally make plans to see friends, the Chinese will call you and ask whether you want to go out with them. Should you reply yes, expect them to be at your place within 1/2 hour or 1 hour. They don't make advance commitments here.

Or they may call and say they want to see you, and you say"sounds good", your doorbell will ring because they are at your doorstep already.

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