Who are China's friends
When you enter the house, first hand over your gifts, for example typical souvenirs or products from your home country, spirits, textiles or books in beautiful packaging (unsightly packaging results in negative points for the gift). Then take off your shoes and exchange them for the slippers your host will give you. You can give all your things that you don't need indoors (for example your hat or umbrella, jacket or handbag) to your host to stow away. Because if you take unnecessary things with you, you will likely put them on the floor later, and in China the floor is considered too dirty to put things on.
When you enter the house, you should greet all members of the household. Greet the senior first. And remember, Chinese children are usually expected to greet you first. The greeting is simple: "Ni Hao" or "Hello" with a short nod of the head are ok. If you sit down you will likely be offered some snacks and something to drink. In China, hot water is more likely to be drunk than warm water, even in summer. In most households, all water is boiled before drinking. Hot water can be offered to you in the form of Chinese tea with dry or fresh fruits, rock sugar or snacks such as peanuts. You should never refuse to eat or drink. Either way, take it, and if you don't want it, put it back on the table in front of you for others to take away.
The relaxed conversation
When everyone is seated the conversation begins and the host will do their best to entertain you. If you are asked questions, this is your chance to prove your openness. It is a good idea to think about a few questions to ask your host before visiting. This will keep your family visit from getting boring (otherwise there will be many moments of silence, or you and your host will just watch TV). For example, you can ask questions about life in China (such as where you live in). Questions about holidays and family traditions are also good ways to get the conversation going and then move on to more interesting topics. In doing so, you are taking advantage of this rare opportunity to get a glimpse of people's lives in China (usually Chinese prefer to meet with non-family members outside of your home because it is not common to share much of your own with anyone To show life). When visiting a rural household ask how the village has changed over the life of the hosts. Or ask if the hosts use agricultural machines as Chinese agriculture is much more labor intensive than that in the west. You can also ask what is grown on the farm. When visiting a family in the city, ask your hosts about their work, holidays, neighborhood, the city and traffic (has it changed in the last few decades?) If your hosts have children, ask about theirs Training. And if you have children, you can make detailed comparisons of the education systems in China and your country (this gives your host's children the opportunity to participate in this international experience as well). When visiting the elderly, ask how China has changed. Remember, many elderly people still consider Mao Zedong to be their hero, despite his flaws. So avoid negative comments about him. The most important thing is to focus on what is known to your host and their family and not to ask difficult questions or ask for statistics. The Chinese will seldom answer "I don't know" to a question. You would rather guess, because that way you save not only your own face, but also that of the person you are talking to. Also, keep in mind that Chinese people are generally not as open as people from the West are. If you notice that your host has a problem with a particular question of yours, it's better to change the subject right away.
The Chinese prefer to talk about prices. So it is never wrong to talk to the Chinese about the price of things - whether it is about a house, a rental, a car or food. The Chinese also like to talk to foreigners about the exchange rate to their local currency or about the plane ticket to their home country. If you take part in such conversations, you are sure to attract the interest of your interlocutor.
The family meal
Always wait to be assigned a seat and remember to take the seat assigned to you. It is a Chinese tradition to arrange the seating arrangement in a certain way. It's much more relaxed dining with a Chinese family than going to a banquet. Even so, there are some customs and rules that one must adhere to (for example, to let the oldest in attendance sit and eat first). You should treat everyone with respect and always adapt to your host's behavior. Since in many Asian countries slurping expresses how much you enjoy and appreciate the food, you should also sip a little if your host starts to sip. Also, a good Chinese host will try to get you to eat more. He or she will not give up until they have declined four times.
At a family dinner, you can help yourself and listen to toasts from your hosts. You can also take the initiative and toast your host, wishing, for example, that your business partnership evolves into a personal friendship. You can use Chinese phrases to toast with your host and family, for example: 友谊 永存 (You Yi Yong Cun) -friendship forever. Or 阖家 欢乐 (He Jia Huan Le) - May your family always be happy.
So consider yourself lucky to be invited to a Chinese family home. Because this not only offers a deeper insight into Chinese culture and the life of the locals, but also a chance to develop a personal relationship with your Chinese partner. So do your best to get the most out of your visit to a Chinese family.
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