Chinese Etiquette

Today I went to my very first Chinese business meeting. We went to an island off of Shanghai called Chongming. I believe it’s an old farming island. Now, it’s a place where the ritzy folk from the city put up there feet and party during celebration times. It’s there second “country” home. We had such a good time. And the clients were so enjoyable. I’ll have to post pictures of our meeting tomorrow. Because we just got in from a full 13 hour day and I’m exhausted and jetlagged…. so it’s off to bed for me.

A few things to remember about chinese etiquette:

  • Never drink from an alcoholic beverage at a dinner table unless you have cheered someone (usually your host or the people next to you)
  • If you are thirsty you drink your oolong tea
  • When someone raises their glass with both hands, you do as well
  • Ganbei (gun-bay) is how you say “cheers” in Chinese
  • When you cheers, you always try to be the lowest man on the totem pole. Meaning: you always want to be the lowest drink when tipping your glass.
  • White  drinks … white wine, always stays full. A good host will always refill your glass — even after just a few sips
  • It is completely acceptable to spit food/bones back out onto your plate — and you will have to do this. (Typical chinese cooking cooks the whole animal – they typically don’t debone things before it gets to your dish)
  • Try every dish. I think it’s pretty rude not to. Our host took everything we ate and noticed when we liked something in particular.
Today I am thankful for: setting up a doctor’s appointment at a Western Hospital successfully and for all my friends and family who love me and have been keeping up with me. AND for a successful and fun first business meeting.

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