The Art of Being a Guest in a Chinese family |Lecture Hall 文章标题,heytibet
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The Art of Being a Guest in a Chinese family


Do you know the etiquette for guests in China? It is an art and even a science. The Chinese are friendly and hospitable. So if you work or study in China, it’ll only be matter of time before your Chinese friends invite you for a visit to their home. For the visitor, taking a gift is an important starting point.

If the friend you’re visiting has children at home, you may consider bringing a small toy. Flowers are a good idea for female friends, whereas fruit or even food would be suitable foe elder acquaintances or friends. Bringing a gift is not so important if you’re a student visiting your teacher.

Visit to friends’ or acquaintances’homes can be short or long. Sometimes you may just chat and sometimes you are invited for a meal, either lunch or dinner. To save time and effort these days, eating out is common. Usually, the dinner table in China is round, to symbolize unity and togetherness. The host usually sits opposite the door, the guests will sit to either side of the host. Guests should wait until the host sits down, before they choose their seats.

When staying for a meal, if you have certain preferences or dietary restrictions, do tell your host before or during the meal. To show hospitality and friendliness, Chinese hosts will often pick out food for the guests and place it on his/her plate. It is good to advise the host when you’re full , otherwise your host will keep odering and politely request that you “eat some more”, until they’re convinced that you have eaten enough.

Upon leaving, the host is likely to say “come by again when you have time,” to which you can reply “I certainly will. Thanks for your hospitality, goodbye.”  


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