Tag Archives: food

Red Envelopes, Gray Income, and Green Tea


In China, the possibility of “gray income” can be an important factor when choosing a job. “Gray income” simply refers to receiving “gifts” in exchange for improved service. It is most common when someone controls access to something like health care, education or … Continue reading

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Banquet etiquette for gaining face


While many foreigners enjoy the Chinese hospitality at banquets, I get the feeling that most of them are trying to survive the meal rather than impress at them. Banquets are a social obligation, and we’ve learned from guidebooks that we … Continue reading

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Social obligations and the meaning of meals


Yesterday we took a careful look at the budget of my office’s unpaid intern, and some of you questioned her spending habits. So today we’ll be looking at the importance of social obligations, and why spending more than 20% of … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Culture & Language, Life in China | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments