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How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Msinglynx (IP Logged)
Date: November 25, 2011 05:12AM
My friend has asked me to come visit her during January break and I have accepted. What is an appropriate length of time to stay? What sort of gift should I bring? Is there anything I should do or way I should be careful to act to be polite? Her parents do not speak any English. I dont know if they know any Putonghua (I assume yes), her family is Cantonese.
Are there any polite phrases I should learn?

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Debug1982 (IP Logged)
Date: November 25, 2011 12:26PM
That's easy. You catch a good timing. The Chinese New Year is on Jan 23rd. If you are gonna visit them before that, you could say: Tina给大家拜早年了,祝大家龙年吉祥,身体健康,财源滚滚. If you are visiting within Chinese New Year week, say it without "早". I am not good at gifts, top thing came to my head is wine, which would be packed with red theme to give strong festival air. And that'd be a big rip-off too. Have fun. smiling smiley

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Seobts (IP Logged)
Date: December 06, 2011 03:20AM
Debug1982 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That's easy. You catch a good timing. The Chinese
> New Year is on Jan 23rd. If you are gonna visit
> them before that, you could say:
> Tina给大家拜早年了,祝大家龙年吉祥�
> ��身体健康,财源滚滚. If you are visiting
> within Chinese New Year week, say it without
> "早". I am not good at gifts, top thing came to
> my head is wine, which would be packed with red
> theme to give strong festival air. And that'd be a
> big rip-off too. Have fun. smiling smiley

Thank you much. I'm about to visit one Chinese family next month and I want to know if anything else I need to concern? Thanks much!

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Greenlogo123 (IP Logged)
Date: December 06, 2011 06:41AM
The basic is smiling all the time and be polite.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Kennytwow (IP Logged)
Date: December 13, 2011 06:50AM
Hello,i come from Hong Kong.
If u are going to visit their home during the lunar new year,I think u may buy a food(like a pack of cookies) wrapped with a red-gift-wrapping paper.Actually,u can have that free gift-wrapping after u bought goods in supermarkets,like Wellcome.
When u get into their house,saying "恭喜發財" and giving the gift is very nice i think.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Savannah (IP Logged)
Date: December 23, 2011 02:08AM
That is right, the color of red. You are very thoughtful, Kennytwow.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Tchapm3 (IP Logged)
Date: January 23, 2012 07:13PM
Thank you Kenny And Savanmah for your advice!

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Savannah (IP Logged)
Date: January 29, 2012 06:01AM
You are very welcome, happy Dragon Year in China.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Jackyron71 (IP Logged)
Date: January 31, 2012 08:33AM
Be relaxed,just feel free.Chinese are easy to get along with.
perhaps they will invite you to stay at their home for dinner together.

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[www.artpaintings.cc]

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/31/2012 08:54AM by Jackyron71.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Savannah (IP Logged)
Date: February 02, 2012 02:07PM
Chinese is not all easy to get along with. Some can be pretty picky, mind you.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Msinglynx (IP Logged)
Date: February 13, 2012 11:26PM
Things I learned during my trip:
Eat everything they put on your plate (if they like you they will put a lot of stuff on your plate). Try everything, dont be rude and reject things for looking strange but if it is not to your taste say so or they will keep giving it to you.
Be firm if you have eaten your fill, say "Wo chi bao le." They may not believe you if you are a "large" foreigner so cover your bowl if they try to put more stuff in it (it's rude to not eat it after it's in your bowl).
Smile a lot! Be nice to everyone you meet, say thank you.
Give thoughtful gifts if you can, according to the taste of the person or people you are staying with. I planned to take wine but my friends parent's family make their own wine, better than any I have bought in stores, so instead I gave her fashionable mother a scarf in her favorite color.
Be respectful, follow the lead of the person who took you but be slightly more respectful when greeting new people like family members, etc.
Use your chinese, even if it is terrible. They always really enjoy this and it makes them happy.
DONT get offended when they ask you "why are you fat/not married/in China?" or "when will you get married/leave/have children?" Those questions are not considered rude here but a way of showing concern/affection. Grin and bear it or learn to deflect elegantly. When my friends father asked me when I will get married I told him when I meet a decent man and asked him to recommend some good ones to me. This charmed him because it was respectful to him as an elder (his opinion), flattered him as a chinese person (because I was open to a chinese guy) & also let me change the subject without looking pathetic or uptight. My friend liked it so much she used the same line on her aunt when she was asked when she would bring home a boyfriend.
Lastly, you are the sole responsibility of the person who invited you. If you fuck up they are the ones who will lose face/be embarrassed/have to smooth things over. If you have an issue or need anything ask them first. Also keep in mind that their family members will treat you the same as they treat your friend (especially if you are not married). For example, my friend is 6 years younger than me, so all her older aunts and uncles assumed I was the same age so I spent most of my time with her younger cousins. They gave me the same food, gave me the same amount of hongbao and in general treated me as one of the kids. The downside of this is that I could not stay out late, go partying or drink alcohol as I normally do.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Msinglynx (IP Logged)
Date: February 13, 2012 11:34PM
Oh and most importantly, BE FLEXIBLE! Sometimes, now that I have been here 5 months, I forget that for a lot of people meeting a foreigner is a new and exciting thing. That means your friend or their family will want to show you off and also spend time talking with you to learn about different cultures (expect questions like "do they have this in your country?"). I went for a week and ended up staying a month. My friend invited me to go to her grandparents and I accepted planning to only stay a day or 2. There we stayed a week, then visited some farms. When we came back we went to Hong Kong for a few days, went to the beach, climbed a mountain, visited a number of temples and so on. Try to say yes to everything, it is worth it!
oh and PS. Dont act like royalty. They will treat you very well as a guest but, especially if you are staying a while, try to help out. Wash the dishes (they will yell the first few times :p), sweep up (do this if they are cleaning or you have made a mess, dont do it otherwise, it might come across as if you are criticizing their cleanliness), cook a meal, and so on.

Re: How to act when visiting a Chinese friend's home?
Posted by: Savannah (IP Logged)
Date: February 14, 2012 08:29PM
Good advice buddy, hope you had a happy Valentine's day there?



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