Travel Tips, Advice & Blog

Common and Significant Etiquette in China

China is known for its long trace and rich filled history. Because of this, they have developed various customs in everything they do – from greeting other people to their table manners. If you are a tourist and want to make friends during your stay in China, you should keep in mind these etiquette’s to avoid misunderstanding and trouble.


Greeting Other People

Old Chinese People

Old Chinese People. Source: Pexels


You might think that bows are the appropriate greeting to Chinese people. But this is not the case in Chinese customs. Locals greet their friends, relatives, or strangers by shaking their hands or nodding to other people. Also, locals are accustomed to using honorifics with older or superior people. They can be their supervisor, teacher, or people who are not close to them. In relation with this, if you happen to greet two or more locals, be sure to address the oldest person first as it can be a sign of respect to older people.


When it comes to dont’s, certain gestures can make Chinese people feel uncomfortable and disrespected. For instance, when making a handshake with them, refrain yourself from doing a firm and tight handshake. Also, keep in mind that any other form of body contact aside from handshake can put you in an uncomfortable position in creating a good impression. This greeting to them is enough to make them feel awkward.


Table Manners

Table Food Manners

Table Food Manners. Source: Flickr


Chinese love to eat a variety of foods. They often use food as their approach to winning the hearts of other people. If you happen to get an invite with the locals, you must try all of their prepared dishes but leave little amount of food on your plate. This gesture can be seen as a sign of gratitude to the host. To show more respect with the locals, especially with the host, you should stand up and join their toasts.


There are “do not do” gestures that you must remember when dining with Chinese people. Playing or tapping your chopsticks would make them feel disrespected. Also, it is considered unsanitary if you happen to use your chopsticks in picking food from the main dishes.



Chinese Celebration

Chinese Celebration. Source: Pixabay


There are proper gestures that you must remember in giving and receiving gifts to Chinese people. It is crucial to keep in mind to use both hands when handing out and accepting gifts. Another typical activity that you should recognise is politely refusing gifts before receiving it.


When wrapping gifts, bright colours like red should be used as it symbolises luck and joy. Another significant thing to know is avoiding gifts that can be associated with numbers and symbols. Chinese people consider it as unlucky and can make them feel offended.

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