Dutch friend Joost visited China first time in February 2016. We stayed in my hometown for 2 weeks to celebrate the Chinese new year. My hometown is nearby Chinawood – Hengdian World Studios. Joost doesn’t speak Chinese, but he easily gained Chinese likability. So how he made it?
1. Smile When Greeting and Leaving
Enter and Leave with a smile. Joost said “Ni Hao!” with a smile to everybody, he was immediately welcoming the other into engaging with him. For Chinese, it’s very friendly when you speak “Ni Hao!” first, because Chinese living in a small town are not used to seeing foreigners. They would quickly like you when you greet in Chinese.
2. Remember Chinese Family Name or Title
To remember Chinese name is difficult for foreigners. Joost tried to remember Chinese family name, “Li” “Zhang” “Chen” “Guo” or their titles, like “ShuShu” “AYi ”, “GeGe” “MeiMei”, “XianSheng”. If you could say “Xiao Wang”, “Lao Li”, “Wang Zong” then double gain good impression.
3. Use Chopsticks for Lunch & Dinner
Chinese food is delicious. Mostly you will have lunch & dinner with a group of people. Using chopsticks is an easy way to impress Chinese as a foreigner. You would be easily accepted by Chinese through one meal. Once they see you could use chopsticks freely, they automatically think you are part of them. It’s natural for Joost to eat Chinese food with chopsticks since he started using chopsticks from his childhood. It takes time to practise chopsticks but definitely it is worthy.
These 3 easy ways seem simple, but when done right and with a kind heart, people you meet in China will be impressed. You will become more likeable because you’re kind, genuine, and a good friend.