Monday, July 22, 2013

Why Chinese people are so rude?

Foreigners often complain that Chinese people lack good manners.
It is surprising that all the foreigners no matter their origins, Europe, Middle East, Africa complain that Chinese people are rude!

In fact I believe that education is subjective: what we learnt that is rude or polite differs from one culture to the next.
Good manners in China differ from good manners that we know in the rest of the world.

Let me explain this cultural gap using several example:

Burp et farting
If you burp or when you fart, this was not perceived as rude a few years ago. In fact it is natural and good for your health! There is even a Chinese saying that says that burp and fart are the two human treasures.

Making noise when you eat
Chinese people make noise when they eat. Whereas in France it is rude to make noise when you eat, Chinese people don't have a similar education.

Eating with your mouth open
Chinese people eat with their mouth open. This is not perceived as rude. And it is very difficult, I believe impossible for a Chinese personn to relearn to eat and close his mouth.

Start eating without waiting
At home Chinese people don't wait for everyone to sit around the table before they start eating. What matters is that you feel well, at home. Once dishes are on the table you can start eating!

It is the same for spitting! Chinese people spit when they have something in their throat. They will look first at their well being before taking care of people around them.
Chinese people are rather selfish as they don't mind others but look mainly at their own well being. Some driver can park or stop his car anywhere no matter other drivers or passer-by

Chinese people throw their litters anywhere.
They know that street sweeper are here to clean! Why should they do his work?

Lack of intimacy
Intimacy is a new concept for Chinese people. In China young people are accustomed to live in a community from their youngest age. At university they share a room with 6 people!
Chinese population is so dense that it is difficult to keep any intimacy. You shout to make yourself heard in restaurant or in a train.  telle qu'il est difficile de d'avoir une intimité. On crie pour se faire entendre au restaurant ou dans le bus. What is more noise is part of Chinese culture with firework, crackers... Someone smokes next to you. A mother breast feed her baby. A neighbour sticks to you...

A capacity to bear "nuisances"
Throughout their education, population density, Chinese people have a much higher capacity to bear nuisances as compare to us.
What is more, where noise, touching, smell, lack of intimacy disturb us, the nuisances won't be perceived as such by most Chinese people!


  1. Haha, exactly, the nuisance tolerance is higher for ghe chinese. George, same thing can be said about the French/Arab French. (1)rolling eyes (2) mocking (chinese) customers (3) saying "no" outright and repeat many times (4) using excessive body language and geticulation e.g. Shrugging, holding up the palm, pointing at person/things, shaking heads, etc. there are always the less educated in every culture. What is important is that, at the end of the day, who is trying to impress who?

  2. I mean, every culture has it own code of conduct and rules they abide in order for their civilisation to continue. In a cross cultural setting, if you want to impress a Chinese, you learn their codes and tolerate their ways, vice versa for chinese if they want to do business with french, they need to learn to eat cold stuff for one hour before hot food is served at 9pm

    1. You are right there is a different perception from what is considered as "rude" and what is considered as "polite" from one culture to the next.

      However China is going west quickly. Many Chinese have now a western perception of what is polite and what is rude...

      I wrote the next article about this. Both articles are linked:

      By the way it is kind of weird that China used to be the only country in the world not to follow some global international accepted "polite" rules (queuing is one). It might be that China used to be the only culture not to be occupied by westerners at a large scale? or the huge population?

  3. Replies
    1. Come on don't say that. If you come to China, you will see that people are really nice and kind here.

      What I try to do with my blog is explain some major cultural differences.
      We as westerners can not understand many behaviours in China. But in fact it is all very logic according to Chinese culture and perception.

      People are the same everywhere. Some really kind people, some less kind. But in the end we are all human.
      Take care.

    2. i agree fk em they are slowing down the evolution of mankind and will one day attemp to take over the world. But a bunch of 5 feet tall people with a maximum of 2 inch shlong cant really be conquerors. GET STOMPED CHINESE NO ONE LIKES YOU PEOPLE

    3. Lol go around your house most items are made by China.

  4. I live in a Chinese household in Canada.In Toronto people often complain about the Chinese manners, I wanted to see for myself if its rudeness or culture, I think for the most part its rudeness, as many people I've met from China are quite civil and polite, but that there being such a large population that many are not exposed to middle and upper class manners, I'm quite positive that what many see as offensive is the same as what people don't like about poor or uneducated people the world over, survival leaving little room for consideration of the needs of others. I was lucky enough to be raised poor but by people who had "class" which has allowed me to blend in well enough with most people unless I'm in particularly elitist company.
    I think that as time goes by, eventually "us and them" will matter so much less, and in response to the idiots making racial slurs in the comments above, I've personally known many Chinese people above 5'7" which is my height, commonly see huge dudes who are jacked, keep in mind the country also includes Mongolia, you know, the people who once conquered most of the known world at the time. Read a book instead of trolling.

  5. Yes indeed I'm Chinese and I have always wonder if I'm adopted or what since my parents never care about me.....and no.not because I'm a brat.they REALLY don't care about me.once I was lost in another place for 1 day and thought they will look for me............I ask more than 100 people where or how to go to this place where I lived,and when I was home I peeked inside and notice they were just watching tv for a 1 24 hour can't find me? ...they do care about money.thats why Chinese people will never become as rich as Kim kardasian.

  6. It is not the case that every single Chinese tourists and immigrants are badly behaved. It is just that quite a number of Chinese tourists have given their country a bad name through uncivillized behavior abroad, much to the dismay of the rest of the civilized population in China.

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