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CommunicativeCustomsinXiaochangCounty

Interpersonal communication is also social communication. Xiaochang people are open-minded, congenial, sincere, enthusiastic and generous. General etiquettes of meeting, receiving guests, seating and neighborhood association are hereby described respectively as follows.


Meeting
It means nodding to extend greetings when meeting others. Friends will cup one hand in the other before the chest or shake hands to exchange when meeting, and strangers will greet when meeting, such as did you eat? Or hello, good morning, and goodnight, etc. During association with colleagues or strangers, self introduction about name, native place, and occupation will be made mildly and friendly. The way will be given actively if meeting those carrying a load on the way. When taking a boat or riding, young people will give way to old people, and average person will give seat actively to pregnant women, the old and weak and the disabled, and women carrying children. They will keep quiet and wait patiently when meeting others who are reading books, learning, working attentively, or sleeping. There are also customs such as knocking at the door before entering and entering only after being invited.


Receiving guests
The host will greet with a broad smile when receiving guests, be polite and say “rare visitor”. If it is an old person, the host will ask “Do you have a strong body” first. If it is a guest having not seen for many years, the host will say “What brings you here”; the host will inevitably say some greetings when receiving guests during the Spring Festival; on the occasion of wedding or birthday, the host will say “You shouldn’t have spent the money”; they will say “Wish a booming business and may you be happy and prosperous” when meeting merchants or craftsmen; they will say “your learning is profound and immense” and “you are busy in official business” respectively when meeting cultural persons and public servants, etc. After entering, the host will ask guests to sit, and accompany them besides to propose tea and cigarettes. They will talk about after defining the purpose in coming, known as “chatting”. Recently, playing cards is very popular, and the host will generally detain guests to play cards if the guests have finished proper business and they are at leisure. When the host is cooking, guests will say “cooking less” and the host will say “you are easy to entertain”. The host treats with utmost cordiality when others paying a New Year call, and guests will say “it being so earnest”, but the host will say “a simple diet once a year”, etc.

 

Seating
There are sayings such as “The host asks guests to sit” and “Guests listen to the host”. Guests are generally seated according to seniority, but the theme to organize the dinner shall be stressed, and the host and guests shall be distinguished, with inferior seat primarily responsible for propose a toast and serving food. When beginning to propose a toast, the host pours wine into the drinking cup to express greetings, and then pours drinks according to seniority. Etiquettes shall be stressed when picking up the pot or changing hands, and the mouth shall be covered with a hand when standing to speak. Be polite when urging others to drink. The host will say: “I am not good at proposing a toast, may you drinking well, or no food to eat”, etc. Guests will say: “Not good at drinking or unable to afford to make you stand”, etc. When dishes are offered and it is time to drink, the host will begin first. At meal, the person who has eaten well shall put chopsticks on soup spoon and lift them after all have eaten well, and then leave the seat. Waiters shall collect leftovers on the table to bowls to express respect for guests. When guests are leaving, they shall express thanks to the host, and greet to bid farewell together. The host will say: “Poor treatment”, and press them to stay; when seeing guests out, the host will say: “Take care”. Guests will ask the host not to come any further and bid farewell. There is the saying that “A good neighbor is better than a brother far off” in the folk. Neighbors in harmony are better than a brother far off; otherwise they will become enemies, so there is the custom of selecting neighbors to stay. Neighbors often care each other during communication, and frequently say: “Did you eat”, “Good morning”, or “See you tomorrow”, etc. They will treat each other with tea and cigarette when visiting, care each other and help each other. Neighbors are bound to put the shoulder to the wheel in case of disasters. Courtesy demands reciprocity in case of wedding and funeral. There are also neighbors with extreme pettiness of character, forgetting honor at the sight of money, and alienated from others, which gives rise to strained relations. 


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