China and the Chinese
We are all very different. Undoubtedly, China attracts many people with its mystery and enigma. Someone has long dreamed of solving the “Secrets of the East”. Or traveling to the Celestial Empire. However, between us there are much less differences and much more similarities than it seems.
1. Chinese people eat from one plate
Indeed, in a large company the Chinese order a large number of dishes. And eat these dishes all together in turn. Taking pieces of food with chopsticks from one plate. Usually, such dishes are placed on a round revolving table. So each participant of the feast takes turns taking the food to his mouth. Or he can put it on his plate. To some extent, this resembles our holiday feasts, so there is a great similarity here.
However, there are nuances in this action. So, it would be indecent to put a large portion of one dish on your plate and eat it. It will be correct to take a little of this or that dish, then move on to the next one. All dishes should be taken in small portions, and not immediately in a large portion. Not at all like in a European feast, when we take a bowl of lettuce or a frying pan with a hot one and lay out to each person equally. As a difference, it can also be noted that such “feasts” are not at all festive. A joint lunch or dinner between the Chinese is a common. And rather frequent thing and will not necessarily be associated with public or personal holidays.
2. A Chinese man will always pay for a friend if he invited him to dinner
This is, of course, not only about dinner. But the Chinese are always ready to pay for a friend or girl whom they have invited to a cafe. And what, you say, is not done in the same way? Yes, it looks only outwardly similar, but the motives of the Chinese are completely different from the European ones. So, a European man can pay for a girl in order to court her. A Chinese man can pay not only for the girl, but also for all five friends who came to dinner, thereby showing his higher position, prosperity and availability of money. The second reason for the invitation may be useful connections, as well as the belief that he will receive the same gesture in due time from his friend or someone else, no less important for his progress in life, when it is necessary or beneficial.
3. The Chinese are giving up their seats in transport
What is the similarity of this behavior with the Chinese? Yes, the Chinese give way to places in transport for the elderly and parents with small children. However, you will rarely see this. Many don’t. Yes, in our country, too, not every person has such a consciousness. But in China, this is not only not done, but it is unlikely that anyone will condemn a person for such behavior. Most likely, if the young man did not give in to his grandmother, hardly anyone would pay attention to this and give him a remark. Fortunately, there are people who are self-conscious.
4. “Be Healthy” and “Bon Appetit”
You will not hear such polite words in China. When you sneeze, no one will say a word or even turn their heads. He sneezed and that’s it, it’s your business. Likewise, no one wishes you Bon Appetit before meals, even if you do have a good appetite. This is not accepted in China, and no one knows about the existence of such customs.
5. The Chinese will never ask you “How are you?”
Instead, they will ask you, “Have you eaten?” Anyone who has never lived in China may be surprised at this treatment. However, the Chinese pay great attention to food and eating. It is equivalent to our Russian: “How are you?” and exactly also rarely requires a detailed answer. Yes, whether he ate or not, it doesn’t matter. This is just a polite address, a sign of attention, nothing more. However, close acquaintances with whom you have not seen for a long time may ask: “How are you doing lately?”. In this case, your friend is really interested in what is happening to you lately, not just trying to get your attention.
6. Chinese people never shake hands or kiss when they meet
This habit is typical for European people. But you will never find it in the Chinese. But, with long wires or after a long separation, Chinese friends may greet you.
Arriving in China, no one will condemn you for not knowing the customs and habits. But if you are staying there for a long time and make friends, take a closer look at the behavior of people. And you can easily get used to life in this so close and so distant country.