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A group of Chinese travelers in Egypt saw Chinese writing carved on a statue in the ancient Luxor Temple, it says: " Ding jinhao was here."

Chinese tourists tried to wipe it off with tissue paper, but to no avail. Some of them took photos and put on a blog:"We are so ashamed, how can one just carve things on such precious 3500 years old relics?" The news was quickly spread by thousands of bloggers, and the culprit was found in just over 24 hours. Ding jinhao, a high school student in Nanjing province. Chinese demanded the student and his parents apologize....

The parents of Ding jinhao contacted the Chinese media, and passed on their apology: "This is a bad act of (our) child, but as parents we should bear the main blame as we did not guide him properly, we did no give him proper teaching (in manners), We (my wife and I) and our child apologize to the Egyptian authorities; we also apologize to all the people in our country who take this matter seriously. I beg everyone's pardon for my child's wrong action, and I beg everyone to give this child a chance to act right in the future. "

(According to ancient Chinese custom, parents usually bear the main responsibility for their children's behaviour.)

Luxor Temple, Egypt. Photo from Wikipedia

Chinese Etiquette Before the Communist State PDF Print E-mail
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In traditional Chinese etiquette, there were a lot of teachings on the polite way to behave.  The ancient Chinese primary textbook,  "The Rules for Students" taught that when one is walking, one should walk calmly, not too fast not too slow; when one is standing, one should stand uprightly; when one is bowing, one should bow deeply and with respect; one should not sit with a foot on the threshold of a house, one should not recline against the door nearby, one should not sit with legs wide apart and one should not shake one’s thighs while standing."

The old saying that when one stands one looks like a pine tree, when one sits one looks like a clock (sitting there in a stable situation), was the basic rule of the ancient Chinese.

One should stand upright, modestly and naturally; one’s upper body should be upright, one’s head and eyes should be level and straight, and with a smile on one’s face, one's lower jaw should be slightly drawin backward, and one’s waist should be straight, with the abdomen held in and one’s body weight should fall equally on the feet, which would make the person slim and tall, full of spirit and energy. It was suggested that one should avoid reclining,feet opened too wide apart, and feet restless and moving, as this behaviour would make others think that this person is restless or unrestrained, and is a rude or impolite person.

It was suggested that if one stands for a long time, one can switch feet so that one foot is slightly ahead of the other, but one’s body should still stay upright, and the two feet should not be too far apart, and the switch should not be too frequent. One should also avoid reclining against a wall.

When one is sitting, it is suggested that one should sit with the upper body upright, the head upright, the eyes looking straight ahead, or looking at the person one is talking to. One’s back should slightly lean on the chair back, and it is forbidden for one to sit right back in the chair at a formal occasion or if a venerable one was sitting there. When one sits, one’s two palms should rest gently on one’s lap, legs should be bent naturally, and the lower legs should be basically vertical, with two feet resting flat on the ground. The distance between the two knees should be as wide as a released fist or two fists, and it was suggested the knees of ladies should not be apart. If one feels tired after sitting for too long in this way, one could switch to another position from time to time.

When elderly people were standing, one should not take one’s seat, only if the older people permit one to sit down, then one can take one’s seat. One should also remember to sit with ease and grace as this would show that this person is modest and well educated.



 

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