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The art of greetings in China


The art of greetings in China
The art of greetings are commonly used polite expressions to show care for each other when people meet.

In China,when you first meet someone, it is common to use formal greeting such as "Hello!" "Pleased to meet you." just like anywhere else in the world. ''Hello'' is simply ''你好''.''您好'' is the polite form. "你好吗?" "欢迎, 欢迎" is an expression of welcome.

When friends meet, greetings are more casual, it's usual to inquire after other's work and life, to show care and affection. For example, "How are you?" "Finished work?" "Been busy lately?" "Long time no see, have you been well?" "Was the traffic alright?" "Has work been busy?" etc.

In China, when people who are more familiar with each other meet, they might ask a vertial question which might seem strange to a foreign visitor or a westerner. For instance, someone might ask you "上哪儿去?" "Where are you going?" when they do not mean to enquire about your specific plans, so answers don't have to be specific. You could say "我出去走一走" "I am going out for a walk. " For friends who meet after a long absence, each will ask after the other's health, work, family, children and so on, to demonstrate concern and affection, replies to these greetings can be simple, such as "pretty good", "not bad" or "thank you".

One greeting that is very special in China, and that comes during a holiday season of "春节" or Spring Festival, Chinese New Year. It accompanies a special gesture like and it is "过年好!" which means "Happy New Year!"  

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