For thousands of years, the Chinese believed that they had created a perfect social system, based on Confucian values and tempered by the “Mandate of Heaven.” Dynasties came and went, but the essence of being Chinese remained essentially unchanged until the twentieth century. Since then, change has taken place in Chinese society at unprecedented speed, as the country first experienced the turmoil of civil war and revolution before emerging on to the world stage as a global superpower.
Culture Smart! China aims to put these changes into a historical context, explain deep-seated cultural attitudes, and guide you through the maze of unfamiliar social situations, in order to help you discover for yourself the pragmatism, genius, warmth, and humanity of this extraordinary people.
It's the Thought That Counts
Do not give your Chinese friends a clock or a watch, as these words sound similar to ‘’take someone to their death’’.
Other gifts to avoid are sharp objects; symbolizing the end of a friendship, handkerchiefs; usually reserved for the end of a funeral, pears; because the word for them, li, sounds like the word for parting; yellow chrysanthemums and any white flowers, as they too are seen at funerals; umbrellas; san in Chinese as the word sounds like another meaning to break up; and mirrors, which are believed to attract ghosts. If you wrap your present in red paper it will symbolize happiness and good luck.