Chinese Culture


Culture has been variously defined by sociologists and anthropologists in the society. It can be taken as the arts, beliefs, customs and practices that a society is associated with. There are many societies in the world. There are equally many cultures in the world. Culture varies from one society to the other and from one time to the other. But there are various cultural aspects that seem to last for years without significant changes. Throughout human history, there has been exchange of culture between different communities as they interact with each other.

China is known the world over as one of the societies that have the richest culture. There are some positive attributes of the Chinese culture that the writer will wish for the United States community to adopt. This is the Chinese greetings culture, especially when meeting a stranger.

Chinese Greeting Etiquette

Greetings in Chinese culture is a very elaborate undertaking with a lot of social underpinnings. This is especially so when one is meeting a stranger. For starters, the order with which the people are introduced to the Chinese is very crucial. It is expected that the older or senior person in a group will be introduced before the others (Kwintessential, 2009). Matters of hierarchy are very important. This means that when conducting introductions between the Chinese and other people, the person who will be the first to be introduced will be taken to be the most important in the group, and the Chinese will conduct business with him.

Greetings are also very formal, and it mainly involves a handshake. If it is a business meeting,

Chinese Culture

the visitor should ensure that he uses only formal titles to address the host. Informal address may be interpreted as rudeness, and will affect the outcome of the interaction that will follow. The handshake is light and fleeting. This is unlike in US where hugging and kissing form part of greetings. Another thing that is unique to Chinese greetings is that a stranger should always wait for the host to proffer his hand (Kwintessential, 2009). As such, the greeting, or handshake, will be initiated by the host or the person to whom are introductions are been made.

The face of the Chinese when been introduced is inscrutable. This is because since childhood, they have been taught not to display their emotions publicly, especially to strangers. That is the reason why the greetings will not be accompanied by smiles and grins. At first, for a person who is not familiar with this culture, they may appear to be an unfriendly lot (Kwintessential, 2009). In this culture, when one is been greeted, the Chinese may look towards the ground, rather than gazing directly in the eyes off the other person. Gazing is taken as an invasion of the personal space, and is socially discouraged.

When introductions are been made, the visitor is supposed to remain standing throughout. Sitting through introductions will be interpreted as rudeness to the host. The handshake may be accompanied by a slight nod or bow. The bowing motion of the Chinese is unique. Rather than bowing from the waist, as Japanese are known to do, these people bow from the shoulders (Kwintessential, 2009). If it is a business meeting, the visitor is then expected to present a business card to the host at this point, but not before.


Introductions to a Chinese is a very delicate matter. There are a lot of social and other considerations that go into this seemingly simple procedure in other cultures. Greetings are formal, and are not accompanied by display of emotions as is evidenced in US. This may be translated by the visitor as rudeness and aloofness on the part of the host. This greeting culture should be adopted in US especially when businesses are been conducted. This is because the lack of emotional attachments will mean that the parties will have time to conduct the business at hand.

Chinese Culture


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