Hong Kong Cultures and Traditions

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HONG Kong Cultures and Traditions Contact Us: +852 6534 4367 http://www.hongkongprivatetourguide.com/

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Hong Kong is very sophisticated, blending the cultures of Asia and Europe. Its people are highly educated, very motivated and westernized. Hong Kong is 98% Chinese , but the people view themselves as different from other Chinese. Cantonese habits and customs are dominant. An individual's actions, prestige, education, wealth and reputation reflect positively or negatively on the entire family.

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Meeting and Greeting : Shake hands with everyone men, women and children upon meeting and leaving. Note that Hong Kong Chinese handshakes may be less firm than a Western handshake. Higher ranking persons are introduced before those of lower rank. An older person comes before a younger person, and a woman before a man. Family members are greeted in order of age, oldest first and youngest last. It is polite to inquire about a person's health or activities upon greeting.

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Names and Titles : Use family names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your host or colleagues to use their first names. Address the Chinese with Mr., Mrs., Miss or professional title plus family name. Example: Lau Gan Lei would be Mr. Lau or Doctor Lau or Professor Lau. Chinese names have two parts: family name and given name. The family name comes first.

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Body Language : Hong Kong Chinese may stand close when talking, however, they are reserved and uncomfortable with body contact. Do not hug, kiss or pat people on the back. Winking at someone is considered a very rude gesture. Request your bill by making a writing motion with your hand. To beckon someone, extend your arm, palm down, and make a scratching motion with your fingers. Never point with your index finger. This is used only for animals. Point with your hand open.

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Dining and Entertainment : Tea is the customary beverage for all occasions. Your teacup will be refilled continually. Leave your cup full if you are finished. Chinese find adding sugar and cream to tea a very strange Western habit. Place teapot lid upside down (or open if attached) to signal the waiter for more tea. Toasting is an important part of a Chinese dinner. If you are the guest of honour and are toasted, smile, raise your glass, make eye contact, drink, raise your glass and thank the host and guests. Be sure to eat and show appreciation for shark fin soup if it is offered. This delicacy is offered only to special guests, and is very expensive.

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Dress : Hong Kong residents are very style-conscious and dress well. Modesty and cleanliness are very important. All types of clothing are worn in Hong Kong. However, taste and fashion look more toward Japan than Britain or the United States. Clothing should be light for summer with sweaters and jackets for winter. For business, men should wear conservative and lightweight Western-style suits and ties. Women should wear conservative dresses, suits or skirts and blouses. Wear a good watch. It will be noticed. The Chinese tend to dress up when going out in the evening. Most European-style hotel restaurants require a coat and tie in the evening. Women should wear cocktail dresses or evening pants.

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Gifts : Gift giving is a tradition in Hong Kong that communicates respect and friendship. Be prepared to present a small gift at the first meeting, such as high-quality cognac, brandy, candy or pens. Unlike other Asian countries, Scotch whiskey is not special in Hong Kong. Never go to a Chinese home without a gift. Present and receive a gift with both hands. Do not open a gift upon receiving it. Avoid giving white or red flowers; clocks are associated with death, but watches are suitable gifts.

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Helpful Hints : The Chinese are famous for communicating by "Saying it without saying it." You will have to learn to read between the lines. Compliment Hong Kong Chinese, but expect a denial. Politely deny a compliment to show humility. Do not say thank you. Do not speak loudly.

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Summary: Hong Kong is very sophisticated, blending the cultures of Asia and Europe. Its people are highly educated, very motivated and westernized. Hong Kong is 98% Chinese , but the people view themselves as different from other Chinese. Cantonese habits and customs are dominant. An individual's actions, prestige, education, wealth and reputation reflect positively or negatively on the entire family.

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