- Series: Culture Smart!
- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: Kuperard; Reprinted Ed edition (September 5, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857333047
- ISBN-13: 978-1857333046
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.5 x 6.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,043,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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China - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture Paperback – September 5, 2006
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Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel - ...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel - ...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer - ...as useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine - ...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times.
About the Author
KATHY FLOWER is a radio and television producer, scriptwriter, and trainer who has specialized in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language. After training teachers for the British Council in Paris, she worked in Beijing from 1981 to 1983 and presented China’s first major English-language teaching series, “Follow Me”, on Chinese TV. She is still known to millions of viewers as laoshi, or “teacher”. She has returned to China many times and now works for the BBC World Service.
Top customer reviews
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Secondly, somehow the discussion of how foreigners are viewed by the Chinese made me feel vaguely uncomfortable, and I am not sure why. There was just something awkward there. (Maybe I just don't like stereotyping..?)
Thirdly, while there is discussion of customs there is a dirth of "watch out for this" warnings. For example, we are warned that the Chinese view blowing the nose as being somewhat gross, so if you have to do that, leave the room. This is the kind of information that visitors need - no one likes rude folks, but it's hard sometimes to know what is considered rude in another country.
Fourth, there is lots of other kinds of filler besides the historical information - like spending two whole pages explaining that cell phones have been very quickly and widely embraced in China, and how it was in the bad old days, like ten years ago. (Who cares...)
Finally, the author seems to suddenly switch over in the last quarter of the book from giving advice to the tourist to giving advice to the business person, and goes on and on for pages and pages and pages about how to behave at a business banquet. Then she says that such banquets are becoming increasingly rare. So why did we just waste all that space talking about them??? Sigh....
Save your money, and look up "Chinese customs and etiquette" on Google.
Update, August 2010: Interestingly, since I posted this review, the title has changed from promising a "quick guide to customs and etiquette" to "the essential guide to customs and culture." I guess someone figured out that the original version didn't deal too well with etiquette...
UPDATE AGAIN, November 2010: HELLO? Before you write a snarky comment, kindly read the update above. When I bought this book in 2007, it had a different title. I wanted a book on Chinese ETIQUETTE, (what part of that word don't you understand?) and this book did not deliver what the title promised.