Is uncivilized behavior appropriate for an entrepreneur

China etiquette: Never empty your plate in China

In China, if you ask someone for directions, you will always get an answer. But probably rarely the right one. Much more likely you will be sent off in the wrong direction with a warm smile.

Why? Because it would be impolite and a loss of face for the Chinese to admit ignorance and have to answer a question truthfully with “no”.

And when the Chinese react to a question with a nod of the head, that in no way means agreement: “He knows the way”, the western holidaymaker may rejoice. Delighted too soon: nodding only means that he is listening with interest to what the stranger is trying to say to him.

This does not only apply to geographical ignorance. “In China, harmony and courtesy are often more important than honesty. That is why you never address unpleasant things directly, do not express open criticism, never expose someone else's weaknesses and you will never allow yourself to be led to a clear no ”, says the new and helpful book of etiquette, the second volume in the series“ Der Red thread through the Middle Kingdom - smacking allowed, Mr. Knigge? ”.

Talking with your mouth full

How much politeness differs from western etiquette is explained by China experts Lutz Berners, Miriam Fritz, Susanne Heimburger and Nora Frisch in an entertaining and knowledgeable way, from A for "dinner" to Z for "listening" in this practical guide for China -Traveler.

Chinese table manners differ significantly from European eating manners. This can be quite embarrassing for travelers. The new China etiquette describes this gallantly: "While people in Germany always try to eat particularly elegantly, in China the focus is on food."

In other words: Everything is allowed that is forbidden at our table. Smacking, slurping, burping and whatever other noises there are.

As a guest, you shouldn't be bothered by it, because it is part of the food in China.

It is also allowed to talk with your mouth full or to smoke while eating (you can sometimes see it at the same time). You don't pull bones and bones out of your mouth with your finger or toothpick, but simply spit them next to the plate or on the floor. You can also spill a lot on the tablecloth.