Chinese etiquette customs are passed down from generation to generation and used in everyday life


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Kong Rong gives up the biggest pear.



邱 俊洁


作为最古老的文明古国之一, 中国的礼仪源远流长。有的礼仪需要专业人士指导,而有的礼仪仿佛流淌在人们的血液里。


















Nhu Dang, Times Staff









English Translation:

As one of the most ancient civilizations, China has a lot of etiquette history. Some manners require professional instruction, but others seem to be engraved in their blood.

The first etiquette is to be enthusiastic about your guests.

Confucius, who was a Chinese philosopher and politician 2579 years ago in the Spring and Autumn period said, “It is always a pleasure to greet a friend from afar.”

In China, people keep these words in mind and always offer their best food to guests, even the poorest families. The purpose of this is to show the guest that he or she is welcome.

This behavior extends to visiting other people’s homes as well. Visitors always bring gifts if they visit other’s houses. Handmade desserts and fruits can be gifts. In a word, people cannot go to someone’s home with empty hands. This is basic etiquette.

The second type of etiquette is respecting the old and cherishing the young. In every ordinary family, parents always tell their children this.

There are many manifestations of this etiquette. For example, elders eat first, then others can eat. If a member of the family gets some cookies, they give it to the elders first, then they can start to eat.

When elders give a gift, the recipient should take it with both hands.

The biggest difference with America is that Chinese people do not call the elders’ names; that is considered very rude.

In China students call their teachers “teacher” and call elders “Yeye” and “Nainai,” which has a similar meaning to grandpa and grandma, to show respect.

There is another kind of etiquette that gives precedence to elders.

When taking public transport, young people always give up their seats to the elders. Little by little, pregnant women and women with children have also become included in this custom.

The interesting point is some of the elders decline with thanks and joke that they were young.

Furthermore, to help elders cross the road and to help elders carry heavy things home is also included in the realm of etiquette for little kids.

Respecting the old and loving the young is a traditional virtue of Chinese.

Finally, there is the send-off etiquette.

When the hosts send guests out, they always watch the guests go far and then close the door to go home. It is rude to close the door as soon as the guests leave.

Hosts stand in front of the door and watch them leave, showing them the hosts are reluctant for the guests to leave. Even the family members or relatives do the same. This is a kind of blood ties and kinship etiquette.

With a long river of history, the ancient customs in China will continue to be passed on and continue to improve.