In China, harmony plays an important role in everyday life. Cultural etiquette among Chinese revolves around harmony as Confucius taught. “Confucianism still plays an important role in Chinese society. It is a system of ethics and conduct, the obligations of people toward each other based on their relationships.” Source: Doing Business in China: Cultural Manners
The philosophy behind Feng Shui supports this concept since it is how to create harmony and balance in your living and working environment. Feng Shui came about when it was observed that people are affected by their surroundings with some places luckier, happier, healthier or more peaceful than others are.
Even the way the government in China does business is governed by the same concepts. As much as most Americans and Europeans seem incapable of understanding China, the Chinese often see foreigners as barbaric when they do not behave properly according to Chinese standards. Understanding is a two way street.
For example: Last weekend, I got up to wash dishes in the sink while my wife and daughter were still eating. My wife said when we have Chinese guests it is impolite to do that since it signals to the guests that it is time to leave. It is best to soak the dishes and leave them until the guests go.
To learn more about China, see Honor Chinese Style.
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