Chinese etiquette
Naveen Rahman

A few tips on etiquette for the next time you’re visiting a Chinese household

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With trade relations the way they are between China and Bangladesh, an invitation to a Chinese household may just become inevitable. Read on for tips on how to pull this off.

Go barefoot

Among Asian households, it’s a custom to go barefoot before entering the household. Usually the entrance to an Asian home is lower than the rest of the house, signifying the physical and psychological purpose of stepping into a new, higher level. If you’re entering an Asian household, depending on how the host greets you (barefoot or with slippers), it’s best to follow their lead. Offer to take off your shoes. In some cases, your host may even offer you a pair of their slippers to wear around their house.

Bring gifts

The Chinese considered gifts to be a polite gesture. If you’re invited to their home, it’s a good idea to bring a gift as a sign of goodwill. However, be careful about what you choose – especially if it has anything to do with numbers. Chinese Asians can be particularly superstitious, especially when it comes to numbers. If you’re bringing a gift, try to stick to even numbers, however steer clear of the number four. The number four is considered bad luck.

Sip it

Most Chinese households have a strong tea drinking culture. You will most probably be offered tea once you have entered, it is extremely impolite to refuse or to ask for an alternate beverage so try to take small sips and enjoy the drink.

Follow the lead

When it comes down to when you should start eating or how, it’s best to follow your hosts’ lead. Begin eating when your host begins eating. Feel free to eat as much as you want, they will know that you have enjoyed and appreciated the meal.

Maintain etiquette

Always ensure that you’ve arrived on time to your invitation or it’s considered rude or impolite. Also, once you are done eating stay for another 30 minutes or so and don’t leave immediately. When you are offered anything (gifts, napkin, chopsticks, slippers), always remember to take it with both hands rather than one.

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