Culture - How Different are Chinese Customs from Western Ones?
There are many differences between Chinese and Western customs. A few differences may be seen in the situations of eating and in gift-giving.
Whether at home or in a restaurant, Chinese will lay the emphasis on the consumption of the food. Food leftover is a sign that the host is generous and has gained "face" in front of guests. In the west, however, a banquet is more for the atmosphere than for food. "Seeing the bottom" of plates is an ideal ending to a meal. That is to say, Chinese are more concerned about eating, while westerns care more about socializing.
Another noticeable difference can be seen in the way gifts are exchanged. Most Chinese care more about the quality than the packaging of the gift. They will insist on declining the gift upon first receiving it and may accept it only with urging. Furthermore, they will usually wait until the guests have left to open the gift. Westerners, on the other hand, care a lot about the packaging and usually open the gift and admire it in the presence of the guest.
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Be happy no matter what....