What is a Chinese courteous fight

Courtesy in China: business lunches and gifts

The Middle Kingdom not only impresses with its modernity, but also with its long history and traditions. Many customs and traditions are still significant for Chinese society despite the country's opening and modernization. If you want to make an impression on your Chinese business partners and friends, you should observe certain rules and customs in the art of giving.

Courtesy is one of the five most important virtues of Confucianism

So don't feel snubbed if your friend or business partner refuses your gift for the first time. It is part of the Chinese gift tradition, so to speak, that out of courtesy one declines two or three times before accepting a gift. Always hand it back in a friendly manner and show the other person that you would be very happy if they accepted your gift.

You don't need to feel disrespected if your gift is not opened right away, either. Unpacking a gift in front of the giver is considered impolite in China and is therefore avoided.

For the people, food is heaven (Chinese proverb)

The passion for good food is deeply rooted in Chinese culture. This can also be seen from the fact that the Chinese often greet each other with the question “Have you already eaten?”. That is why nicely packaged foods such as a fruit basket or a good bottle of wine are very popular gifts. The packaging of the gift should also be carefully considered. A gift can be wrapped in red or gold. These colors represent joy, happiness, successful harvest and wealth.

Gifts bring joy. But there are also a few things to watch out for

You should never give a Chinese person a wall clock or a grandfather clock. The pronunciation of "clock to give" (zhōng: clock, sòng: to give) is identical to the pronunciation of "attending a funeral". That is why you say in China when you give away a watch: "Your time will soon be up".

Also, if you want to give away a hat, you should be careful. There can be problems with the traditional green loden hat from Bavaria. In Chinese culture, when a man is put on a green hat, it means that his wife is unfaithful and has betrayed him - just like "horns on" a German.

Are flowers the right gift? Not always. In China, people rarely give away white or yellow flowers, especially chrysanthemums, as white and yellow chrysanthemums are reserved for the dead.

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