Guidelines
Dinning Etiquette
Travel Tips
Terms
China Geography
China History
Chinese Zodiac
Finance and Taxation
Population and Ethnic Groups
Economy

Dinning Etiquette

The Chinese prefer to entertain in public places rather than in their homes, especially when entertaining foreigners. If you are invited to their house, consider it a great honor. If you must turn down such an honor, it is considered polite to explain the conflict in your schedule so that your actions are not taken as a slight.

* Arrive on time (remove your shoes before entering the house in some cases).

* Bring a small gift to the hostess.

* Eat well to demonstrate that you are enjoying the food!

* Learn to use chopsticks.

* Wait to be told where to sit.

* The guest of honor will be given a seat facing the door. The host begins eating first.

* You should try everything that is offered to you.

* Never eat the last piece from the serving tray.

* Be observant to other peoples' needs.

* Chopsticks should be returned to the chopstick rest after every few bites and when you drink or stop to speak.

* Do not put bones in your bowl. Place them on the table or in a special bowl for that purpose.

* Hold the rice bowl close to your mouth while eating.

* Do not be offended if a Chinese person makes slurping or belching sounds; it merely indicates that they are enjoying their food. At Chinese meals people are forever exchanging morsels of food. This is not to make sure everybody tastes everything but it is a way of keeping in contact with other people at the table. Food manipulation seems very important to the Chinese. You must offer him some of your food. He on the other hand will offer you some of his and you must take it. To refuse it means you are refusing his attentions. It’s no good to say, “I am not hungry”, or “I don’t like that”. It is insulting for you to do so.

Back to top