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Chinese Taboo

Essay Topic:

Taboo can be defined as a prohibition that excludes something from use, approach, or mention. This may be on the grounds it is considered sacred, has the ability to inspire fear, or is thought to be disgusting or disagreeable. It is not a word indigenous to English.

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Chinese has their fair share of taboos; some of them are related to the language and culture. It is like any other race. The following three tips of Chinese cultural taboos have been existed through many years for Chinese people.

Like most deeply rooted ancient Chinese traditions, the younger generation is paying less and less attention to these kinds of habits, but foreigners living in China would still do well to avoid the following Chinese taboos. 2. Chinese table taboo Everyone loves to go out to a nice restaurant for a fancy meal here there. For the Chinese, fancy is just the beginning because they have strict taboos that you should always remember when going out. Dishes are put together in a table and all the diners sit around it and share the dishes.

You should help yourself to the food. The host may pick up food with chopsticks and put the food in your bowl. It is a sort of hospitality. Besides that, chopsticks should always place them horizontally over your bowl. This is because according to the Chinese taboos placing chopsticks like that means you wish death among somebody at that table. This became a taboo because when someone dies, they set a bowl of rice with their shrine, chopsticks upright. Therefore the proper way to place the chopsticks is by lay them down.

Besides that according to Chinese, when they are dining they will pass the food to their elders before they take it to themselves is considered good manners. Not only that, a toast to others is considered important in Chinese dining. Likewise, after all the people are seated and all the cups are filled, if someone proposes a toast, make sure that the rim of your glass is lower than the rim of the person more senior. For them it is a sign of respect. Furthermore, the host will continuously pour drinks and wine to the guest to ensure that their cups are not empty for a long time.

If you don’t want drinks any more, you can simply say no and offer thanks. If you are thirsty and no one has poured you a drink, you can offer to pour for a neighbor first and then yourselves, never just yourself as this is another impoliteness. Chinese people like a noisy and upbeat atmosphere when having a gathering and meals are no exception. Jokes as wells daily funny happening will be a great choice for them to talk about. This will entertain them and prevents from getting bored. 3. Chinese Greetings Taboo The Chinese usually do not like to do business with strangers, and will make frequent use of go-betweens.

Whenever possible, try to use established relationships, or an intermediary known by both sides, to make the first contact Chinese prefer to be formally introduced to someone new. This applies to both Chinese and foreigners. The Chinese may seem unfriendly when being introduced. They are taught not to show excessive emotion, thus the reference to Chinese and other Asians as inscrutable. Always stand up when being introduced and remain standing throughout the introductions. When being introduced to Chinese, the accepted form of greeting is the handshake, even among Chinese.

Chinese may also nod or slightly bow (Unlike the Japanese, the Chinese bow from the shoulders rather than the waist). One would then present a business card. The Chinese will state their last name first, followed by the given name (may be one or two syllables). For example, Liu Jianguo, in Chinese would be Mr. Jianguo Liu using the Western style. Never call someone by only his or her last name. Unless specifically asked, do not call someone by his or her first name. Addressing someone by his or her courtesy or professional title and last name conveys respect.

In Chinese, usually the title follows the family name. When speaking to (or about) a Chinese person in English, then the title is said before the family name. For example, Liu Xiansheng (Mr. Liu) and Liu Jingli (Manager Liu). Women’s names cannot be distinguished from men’s names. Chinese women use their maiden names even after marriage, but may indicate marital status by using Mrs. , Ms. , Miss, or Madam. Mrs. Wang might be married to Mr. Liu. Chinese form of greeting usually is a brief handshake and should be even gentler by a slight nod.

It shows expression of warmth. Besides that, we should cover the normal handshake with our left hand and lower our eyes slightly it is as a sign of respect. 4. Chinese Taboo Word In ancient China, the Chinese regarded the names of their emperors and elders as taboos. It was forbidden to write the name of an emperor when quoting anything old or composing anything new. To avoid such problems, later emperors were given names with characters invented for them — characters that were utterly useless for any other purpose.

Since a Chinese character has different elements, or morphemes, and most Chinese names mean something, there were some ways to avoid tattoo words for ordinary people. For instance, a person can use any word element morpheme of a taboo word as his/her name; replace the taboo word with its synonyms or parasynonyms; use homophones or words with similar pronunciation as substitutes of the taboo word; change the pronunciation of the tattoo word when using it; use characters in similar shapes; add components to the taboo character to create a new one and so on.

Chinese taboo number Good things come in pairs so odd numbers are avoided for birthdays and weddings. However, to avoid bad things happening in pairs, burials and giving gifts to the ill are not held on even numbered days. Four – the number four (?, sì) sounds like death (?, si) so the number four is avoided particularly on phone numbers, license plates and addresses. While addresses do contains fours, the rent is usually less and apartments on the fourth floor are typically rented by foreigners. 6. Chinese Taboo at work

Shopkeepers may opt not to read a book at work because book (?, shu) sounds like lose (?, shu). Shopkeepers who read may be afraid their businesses will suffer losses When it comes to sweeping, shopkeepers are careful not to sweep toward the door, especially during Chinese New Year, in case good fortune is swept out the front door. 7. Chinese Taboo when peeing The Chinese have often had this abstinence and usually remind their kids to never pee anyplace just they like. This can be a harmful factor to perform because you might inadvertently be peeing on some wandering spirit, or on an nt hill or rabbit hole.

This causes you to inadvertently insult the land spirit dwelling there and its retaliation may cause your genitals to become swollen and pink, trigger you to obtain sick as well as make you suffer undesirable luck. 8. Conclusion Chinese is full with their own uniqueness in term of traditions and culture. Taboos are part of their culture. It is important for them to follow and respect it as it reflects something that they believe for. However, even though superstitions usually defy conventional logic but there always has their own goodness which could benefits its practitioners.

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