Different places in all corners of the world have different customs and traditions. Some may be similar to other nations or can be totally different in meaning. Normal actions which you are fond of doing may be an insult to others or may make you lose face in front of them. For instance after finishing your final drop of beer in a bar and turning your empty glass upside down when talking to your friends. This actually means that you are ready to take anyone in that bar in a hand to hand combat. It must not be necessarily be actions but also words in other nations may be horrifying when you are informed of what you have said. Thus for visitors and foreigners, it is vital for them to familiarize themselves with the customs, actions, expectations and kinds of responses expected when offered something. Below are some of the tips of how not to offend Chinese.
Do not be surprised when an old Chinese picks from his or her nose and eats in the public. It is normal to them and they can do it in public. People from Europe considers as dirty behavior and a bad habit done by the children. After seeing this, a visitor may turn his back to the older person. Turning your back is an offensive action and they consider it as assign of deep disrespect.
Avoid showing people the bottom of your shoes. When talking of shoes, what click in our minds is in the 2008 when an Iraqi man threw his shoes to President Bush. This was a sign to express his anger, hate and disrespect to the then president of united state of America. In china, feet and shoes are considered to be dirt and are at the bottom of a person. Pointing them to a Chinese is a taboo because it equivalently means that he or she is beneath you.
Placing the chopstick vertically is like a death omen. When you are done eating, stick the chopstick horizontally at the edge of the bowl. This shows that you do not respect those who are in the restaurant. Some Chinese believe that apart from burning at someone’s funeral other awful things may happen to you. Show that you are thankful and that you have enjoyed the meal by placing the sticks horizontally. If done in someone house, the guest will be reluctant in inviting you again next time.
To most people it may be seem normal and cause no harm to write someone a letter in red ink. But this is not the same in china. The recipient would think that you want him or her to die. They prefer to use the blue ink or other ink colors apart from them red.
Basically, the person inviting his friends would be the person to pay for the entire meal. In china, even if you are the one who have invited your Chinese friends. You are not supposed to pay for the group’s bill because you are a guest in their country. Save face by not inviting a Chinese and ask him to go Dutch. He would pay for his portion and do not expect him to come again the next time you invite him.
It is vital to know the gestures and actions that may be offensive. Do everything in your capabilities not to lose face and save the face of those who are around you. We should understand that offending and being rude to others is not only through staring, being loudly and spitting. Therefore, one should seek deeper details and tips in order not to lose face and confrontations.