Studying and Traveling in China: Modern Chinese Cultural Encounters, Volume 1
iUniverse, 2011 (2011)
Reviewed by Bob Walch
udy Zhu was born and raised in China. In this book, the Chinese language professor at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, explains some of the fine points of
into Chinese culture for those who plan to study or visit the country.
he first part of this 110 page book consists of a cultural encounters quiz. You'll find about eighty multiple-choice questions that will test your knowledge of Chinese customs and etiquette. For example, do you shake hands, bow or do nothing when introduced to a Chinese person?
ollowing the quiz the author goes into detail explaining what the right answers are. As she briefs her reader on how to adjust to interacting with people he or she will meet on a visit, Zhu also explains some of the major cultural differences one will encounter.
hese differences range from how the Chinese view smoking and view casual contact to gift giving, sharing meals and conversational topics. The reader might be surprised to learn that asking a person how much he makes or what a car or piece of clothing cost is not considered rude behavior. And, when giving or receiving a business card, be sure to use both hands and make sure to look at it carefully before slipping it into your pocket.
ince this book contains so many interesting tidbits about Chinese culture, it is fun to just open it and begin reading. I don't anticipate traveling to China any time in the future, but I still found this a fascinating and entertaining book.
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