Chopsticks Etiquette

Chopsticks Etiquettes


Dining is one of the most used activities as to welcome a guest or an employee. Therefore, we should know how to behave properly during a formal dinner.

When you are invited to a formal Chinese dinner, there are a series of etiquette you should know in order to have a good impression on your host. One of those etiquettes is the chopsticks etiquette, which is as important as your manners on the table. We provide you a list of 8 things you should not do during a formal dinner:

1. Stick them chopsticks in the center of the bowl of rice, since it considered being inauspicious because it represents the God of Dead.


2. Rest your chopsticks vertically. Instead, place the front end of the chopsticks on the chopstick rests. These are usually small ceramic rests placed near your napkin on the right hand side of your bowl.

3. Play with the chopsticks


4. Point them at others or wave them


5. Chew on the ends of the chopsticks

6. One should not 'dig' or 'search' through one's food for something in particular. This is sometimes known as "digging one's grave" or "grave-digging" and is extremely poor manners.

7. Do not knock on a dish or bowl with your chopsticks. This is recognized as beggar’s behavior in China.


8. Passing a piece of food to someone with your chopsticks -- or receiving food by snatching it with your chopsticks -- is extremely taboo.The gesture is too similar to the passing of cremated bones at funerals between loved ones with chopsticks. If you must pass food, put it on the recipient's plate!

All these rules might sound weird but I assure you that, as long as you follow Chinese dining etiquette, you will have a very good impression on your hosts and who knows; maybe you can even be promoted after a dinner with your boss!

The 5 Stages of Expat Life in China

In China, and especially in Shanghai, you can meet expats from all over the World. We mapped out 5 different stages of expat life in China:


1) The Students:

Students that come to China to start their Bachelor or the ones that stayed here just for a year or even for an exchange semester. This group cannot really be considered as expats due to their short-term stay. They dive in deeply, and change their Facebook locations upon arrival.

Despite the fact that they don’t have much money, they spend all the money on overweight baggage fees and first aid kits because who knows what China has. They have a diet based on noodles, rice and dumplings, in short, the exact same thing every day during the first months. After a while, they will be sick of it and start spending a lot of money on Western food caused, in part, by homesick.


2) The Teachers:

With fresh degrees in their hands, these twenty-somethings roll into China with teaching jobs lined up. It is usually a pleasant job since having a Western face helps to get tons of students being well paid. However, if you have a Chinese face (even if you are latino), forget about this option because, if you do not look Westerner, that means that you have no clue about other languages than Mandarin.

This time in an expat's life is characterized by trips to Boracay or Bangkok, running into class in their pajamas, starting to get sick of Chinese food, realizing they can't drink fake alcohol like they used to, and strange origami gifts from their students. In other words, the exact same student life you used to have but experimenting more with adulthood resopnsibilities.


3) The Young Professional:

Mid-twenties, early thirties young adults working for start-ups, international companies (because who wants to work in a Chinese company when you can avoid it?), magazines…These expats are usually found in big cities since they still cannot live without a Western meal.

This time in an expat's life is characterized by spending too much money on alcohol and cheese, experiencing the underground at peak times of the day, traveling to obscure parts of the country to “discover real China,” and being ignored by their Chinese landlords. It's a time of real independence and being kind of a douche.

4) The Professional Professional:

These are the actual expats, in the traditional sense of the word. They are characterized by having Western salaries, stay half a year in China and half a year abroad. These are the ones that China is so desperately trying to attract more of.

It's a time of career growth and developing country-induced stress headaches. They buy in Starbucks everyday because they can; spending tons of money on the best air purifiers, and become best friends of their drivers, who hang out with them all day long.

5) The Family Expat:

The professional expat with a family at the back. In most cases, their companies set them up in villas that look like a fake version of California (I know what you are thinking, but not everything in China is copied from Western countries). They send their kids to international schools, buy even more air purifiers for the whole villa, fill their kitchen with delicatessen Western food, letting ayis (nannies and cleaning ladies) raise their kids. It's a time of both extreme comfort and extreme anxiety.

Being an expat in China has its ups and its downs, like everything else. But it is a great experience that will definitely change your life and make you learn and grow.

5 Reasons why Shanghai is the greatest city in the world

Also called the Magic City, Shanghai has captivated millions of foreigners arriving to its shores for business or pleasure.  Here we look to share some of the reasons why we believe Shanghai is such a great city to live or work in: 


Delivery to your door:For all of us that work in China, food delivery is a must in a busy day but this is not only Chinese food, all things can easily and quickly be delivered to your door. Whether it’s the latest phone, foreign food, a heavy plant in a pot or a barbeque cook to impress your dinner guests with! Everything can be delivered to your door in record time.

Saturday marriage market of People Sqr:
Shanghai is a profoundly different culture to those in the West and being able to immerse oneself in the culture is tremendous fun. One of these great spots is People Square in Saturday morning and see couples of parents or even grandparents networking and helping their sons or daughters get a life partner.

Shanghai Tailor Market:
For all of you fashionistas, the tailor market of shanghai offers one a great opportunity to keep up with the latest trends in Asia and all over the world. You will come out an expert in fashion and a well-dressed negotiator as you walk down the stairs back into the buzzing streets of Shanghai. If you have the chance to experience an internship in China, make sure you make your way into this market to get a good suit for your first day.

Street dancing:
Who said ballroom dancing needed a ballroom? Early in the mornings and after working hours in Shanghai the city shows the tight knit community spirit when pensioners gather in the street with a boom box to dance.  This is not a hip-hop battle but rather a graceful set of dance moves that look similar to Tai-Chi.

Mag Lev train:
Without doubt this train is the fastest one in the world. Engineered with magnet technology the train is basically floating on top of the rails to reduce friction and reaching whopping 431 km/h. If you are in Shanghai, do it! You will have bragging rights for many years to come

Experience China now through a language or internship programme with us. Apply now here!

The Entry of Facebook in China

Facebook office to open in Beijing

Although no official announcement has been made of the social network led by Mark Zuckerberg , an office of 800 square meters is finalizing preparations for the opening of his office building in the Beijing Fortune Financial Center.

These are the few details that have been leaked to the local press about one of the most anticipated landings in the digital world: the entry of Facebook in China. Facebook has been blocked in China since 2009 yet the Californian firm is in full pursuit of managers and employees of the subsidiary, as deduced from ads posted on his own website and LinkedIn.

The purpose of Facebook now is to provide services to the growing number of Chinese companies that are expanding abroad and using its web as an advertising platform. In addition, the U.S. company plans to expand its relations with the thousands of application developers in China, according to Vaughan Smith vice president.

Until now, Facebook provided all these services from its office in Hong Kong, which has its legal regime and is a relatively independent government from mainland China. The social network obtains the majority of its revenue by charging companies for hanging advertisements to its users. The enormous amount of data from users makes it a very attractive platform for advertisers. For example, Facebook can show you a hotel special ad for the weekend days before the birthday of your spouse.

The Californian firm has been eyeing the Chinese market for years since it’s the country with the most Internet users in the world (over 600 million). Facebook has registered over 60 different brands and both Zuckerberg and other company executives have lavished on the Asian giant.

The disembarkment of the social network does not alter its status as banned in the communist regime. The Chinese cannot access Facebook unless they buy a proxy – a device or program that intercepts network connections a client makes on a server – to bypass censorship, a service that only a minority of citizens enjoys.

Even so, the opening of an office in Beijing has sparked all sorts of speculation. Some analysts believe that the ultimate goal of Facebook is to reach an agreement with a local firm to launch a social network that isn’t censored and to therefore operate in the Asian giant.

Following LinkedIn

This is the path LinkedIn has recently followed. It has opened a Chinese website where comments, reviews and links have been deleted according to instructions from the government in Beijing. For example, numerous messages during the anniversary of Tiananmen on June 4 were removed from the professional platform.

Facebook has 390 million monthly active users in Asia, 30% of the total, and a turnover of 260 million euros in the continent (a total of 14%) in the first quarter of 2014, according to official data of the company .

The few details that have been leaked to the local press about the most anticipated landings in the digital world: the entry of Facebook in China.

The entry of Facebook in China to provide services as an advertising platform to the growing number of Chinese companies expanding abroad to the West.


This year Qingming festival falls on April 5th. Known by several other names it is known in the West as Tomb Sweeping day due to the practice of honoring ancestors by cleaning their burial sites as well as offering food, tea, wine and even chopsticks. Fake money is burnt as offerings in the hopes that the dead are not short of food or money. As well as being a day to remember ancestors it has a close relationship with agriculture as temperatures rise and rainfall increases signifying the crucial time for plowing and sowing seed.

It has been recognized as a national holiday only since 2008 but has origins going as far back as 500BC. It commemorates a royal servant named Jie Zitui who followed his master into exile. Jie Zitui constantly offered everything he had even supposedly giving a piece of his own thigh so the master could have his soup. When the master came out of exile and was reinstated Jie Zitui was overlooked and never properly rewarded. This brought great shame to the master in later life and he sought to repay his loyal servant who had since died. He ordered 3 days to be set aside to honor his memory. The city that stands over the site of his death to this day is called Jiexiu which means “Jie’s rest”.

Qingming is a mix of sadness and joy, a day to remember the dead and enjoy life as spring arrives and new life blossoms. Families take spring outings enjoying the changing of seasons. Doors are adorned with willow branches warding off evil spirits. Flowers are put on display and carried around town. Paper replicas of expensive material goods are burned such as cars, homes, phones and even paper servants. In ancient China it was believed these things were needed even in the after-life and burning them will send it to their ancestors. Flying kites is customary especially towards the evening. Small lanterns are attached to the kite giving the impression of many twinkling stars adding to the night sky. These kites will then be cut from their tethers and “set free” as the lantern lights illuminate the sky in great numbers drifting where they please and bringing good fortune as they pass.

Every culture honors their dead in their own way and the spring is the ideal time. Winter changes to spring as new life appears and the days grow longer. Although it is a somber day it also a festive occasion complete with feasting. Qingming was also the day when young couples would traditionally begin courtship. This practice mirrors the changing of the seasons and is a fitting end to a holiday that honors the dead while looking forward to new life.