Posted by: edwinpribadi | May 12, 2011

Understanding Chinese Culture.


Confucianism is the foundation of Chinese culture. It’s a system of behaviors and ethics that guides people in various relationships. When all relationships work in harmony, a society functions well. One tip for you: Try to refrain from confrontations and conflicts, and be patient in cultivating relationships and trust, as it’s a prerequisite of a successful business deal with Chinese.

In Chinese etiquette, “face” is a key element. It can be translated as “reputation,” “honors” or “respect,” and you should always “give face” to your Chinese business partners in order to gain their trust and support. Remarks or actions that make them feel “lose face” would ruin the relationship badly, which may take a long time to be reconciled, and it’s possible it never will be.

Doing business with Chinese could be difficult if you are not familiar with Chinese etiquette and culture, which stems from Confucianism and folk superstitions. For example, giving a clock as a gift wrapped in white paper would be seen as wishing ill upon the recipient, as clocks and white denote death in Chinese culture, whereas gifts like red wine and dragon artwork are considered auspicious and often appreciated.
On Chinese New Year celebration, it’s time for family gatherings, friends visiting and to offer one another blessings and gifts. Though traditions of the Chinese New Year may vary from place to place, the spirit underlying the diverse celebrations is the same: a sincere wish of peace, prosperity and happiness for family and friends. They usually gather to enjoy a dinner with their family and also Chinese people like to express gratitude with gifts, and gifts are also given at Chinese New Year, weddings, births and birthdays. In Chinese etiquette, one should always present gifts with two hands, and gifts should not be opened in front of the giver.
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