Observing Chinese culture at the Hangzhou Asian Games

Asia’s team leaders for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou


China were given advice on the “dos and don’ts” of Chinese culture on the second afternoon of the Chefs de Mission Seminar on Wednesday.

In the final presentation of the two-day seminar, the Chefs de Mission from the National Olympic Committees of the five OCA zones were told the basic greeting – “Nihao” (hello) – and how to say thank you – “Xiexie”.

They were also informed that kissing on the cheek and hugging were not acceptable, and that a handshake would suffice. It would also be appreciated if the person offered a name card/business card during the introduction, the CDMs heard.

Delegates were also advised on waste sorting and environment protection, and of the “no smoking” policy in public areas.

Regarding food, the Hangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee HAGOC suggested guests use chopsticks during meals to enrich their Chinese experience – but warned people not to leave their chopsticks sticking upright in a bowl of rice or porridge.

This is a funeral custom in most Asian cultures and can be disrespectful to people sitting nearby or whoever prepared the food. The correct protocol is to place the chopsticks on the edge of the bowl or in the chopstick holder.

There was also information on Chinese table etiquette, drink-driving laws and a warning that sexual harassment was a serious criminal offence and could result in severe punishment.

HAGOC made the presentation in order to enhance the Chinese experience of visitors to the Hangzhou Asian Games, which will run from September 23 to October 8, and to avoid any potential misunderstanding.


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