Singapore Expats Forum

i am invited to a CNY house party ....

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

User avatar
chris_pilgrim
Regular
Regular
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat, 09 Nov 2013
Location: a harbour in front

i am invited to a CNY house party ....

Postby chris_pilgrim » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 7:48 am

i am invited to a CNY house party this Friday ..

can anyone help to brief me what are the basic etiquettes i need to observe in a Chinese family? :o
It is better to believe than to disbelieve. in doing, you bring everything to the realm of possibility.

User avatar
the lynx
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5239
Joined: Thu, 09 Dec 2010
Location: Midgar

Postby the lynx » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 8:29 am

1. If you're married, bring some hongbao (red packet) filled with money to give to their children (if they have).

2. Bring along a bag of mandarin oranges (a bag of two or three will do). The host will exchange the oranges with his and return the same number of oranges to you. It is a gesture of sharing/exchanging fortune.

3. Enjoy being a guest.

(Of course customs like avoiding negative topics like death, being rude, being a slob, etc are pretty common across all traditions etc)

User avatar
ecureilx
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 9283
Joined: Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Postby ecureilx » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 9:00 am

the lynx wrote:1. If you're married, bring some hongbao (red packet) filled with money to give to their children (if they have).

2. Bring along a bag of mandarin oranges (a bag of two or three will do). The host will exchange the oranges with his and return the same number of oranges to you. It is a gesture of sharing/exchanging fortune.

3. Enjoy being a guest.

(Of course customs like avoiding negative topics like death, being rude, being a slob, etc are pretty common across all traditions etc)


and .. try to wear Red, avoid Yellow .. ....

therat
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu, 04 Sep 2008

Postby therat » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 9:08 am

the lynx wrote:1. If you're married, bring some hongbao (red packet) filled with money to give to their children (if they have).


How much it is up to you.
But general rule is even number like $2,4,6,8,10
Or $5 that is the only odd number

2. Bring along a bag of mandarin oranges (a bag of two or three will do). The host will exchange the oranges with his and return the same number of oranges to you. It is a gesture of sharing/exchanging fortune.

If go alone, bring bag of two
if go together with your spouse , will need bag of 4

No odd number.

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 4:36 pm

White and blue are also not good colours (because they're used at funerals). You cannot go wrong with red!
Numbers: 8 is best - I always put S$8 (important: in new and unwrinkled notes - all banks have them now!) into each Ang Pao.
You should also have a small gift for the host, since it is inconsiderate to arrive empty-handed at a Chinese house. And take off your shoes at the entrance.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 6:30 pm

Why are foreigners expected to understand and participate 'equally' in local customs? Beyond the superficial face being given, does it matter how right or wrong you get it?

For example, if you (i.e. dirty foreigner :)) went to a higher end dinner party in England. Would you be studying in advance how to approach the table setting of 4 sets of cutlery and 4 glasses, eh? And the minor etiquettes like never cutting the 'nose' off a block of cheese. Or god forbid passing the port decanter the wrong way around the table? Ladies taking the cue to retire at that stage to another room, leaving the men at the table.

Do you think anyone cares if a foreigner knows and follows such subtle micro-manners stuff? I don't think so, it is a subtle 'way', custom, for those who have been brought up with it. In fact it's assumed you (outsider) won't know it, and a knowing smile is quietly shared when you indeed demonstrate that you don't.

I think one could argue that all the forelock-tugging, and wanting to 'understand and participate in their customs' on precisely the right terms like a local, is actually... well meaning, but ultimately perhaps condescending.

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 6:37 pm

JR8 wrote:I think one could argue that all the forelock-tugging, and wanting to 'understand and participate in their customs' on precisely the right terms like a local, is actually... well meaning, but ultimately perhaps condescending.

What you declare unnecessary here is otherwise known as intercultural skills and seen by many as precondition for successful dealings with people of other geographical origins.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 8:06 pm

beppi wrote:What you declare unnecessary here is otherwise known as intercultural skills and seen by many as precondition for successful dealings with people of other geographical origins.


Inter-cultural lessons from a German, that's funny. Better than outright extermination though I suppose, if rather a 'rebound' kow-tow/grovel.

User avatar
chris_pilgrim
Regular
Regular
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat, 09 Nov 2013
Location: a harbour in front

Postby chris_pilgrim » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 9:00 pm

is giving a nice bottle of wine to the host considered a good gift in sg? ...
It is better to believe than to disbelieve. in doing, you bring everything to the realm of possibility.

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6837
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 9:14 pm

chris_pilgrim wrote:is giving a nice bottle of wine to the host considered a good gift in sg? ...


Better a Durian. Minimally D24. ??? or ??? better.

edit: Stupid filtering. mao shan wang or wang zhi wang is what that should say.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 9:25 pm

chris_pilgrim wrote:is giving a nice bottle of wine to the host considered a good gift in sg? ...


Well, it would be more than welcome in my household :)

But seriously, only give wine/alcohol if you know they drink it. No point giving a bottle of say quality vintage Bordeaux to people who don't drink, or who's experience extended to lambrusco and Babycham, and that was back in the 70s. You can buy a bottle of 'Ch. Barit' at NTUC, pretty swilly, BUT a very pretty label, c.$25. You can buy a Bordeaux at Changi duty-free, very similar pretty lable, $250 - likely to taste a bit better I hope (:)). Most locals either wouldn't drink either, or recognise any difference betwixt the two (bite me!! lol)

This isn't prejudiced, more pragmatic. I am reminded of an acquaintance (foreign, naturally) who came to stay, they brought 2 bottles of super-exceptional spirits, one brandy, one whisky, neither of which I indulge in often*. And I was (apparently!!) not overwhelmed enough, so when they left they silently took the remainders back, like 2 * 1/2 full bottles !!! Yes really!! Hilarious but also a bit 'WTH'. But hey a Swedish/anglo-Saudi group... what might one expect?!!



* Or maybe they thought I was enjoying the whisky too much, and so 'confiscated' them back. Who knows... they had flown in from Saudi...

User avatar
chris_pilgrim
Regular
Regular
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat, 09 Nov 2013
Location: a harbour in front

Postby chris_pilgrim » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 9:45 pm

@JR8. :D :D You're funny!

so how have you been doing? it is my 3rd week here in sg. i have my mobile, broadband and an almost furnished flat set up but can't exactly say i'm loving my life here at the little red dot yet.. :?
It is better to believe than to disbelieve. in doing, you bring everything to the realm of possibility.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:05 pm

chris_pilgrim wrote:@JR8. :D :D You're funny!

so how have you been doing? it is my 3rd week here in sg. i have my mobile, broadband and an almost furnished flat set up but can't exactly say i'm loving my life here at the little red dot yet.. :?


Yes, well my life is fine and settled, a point we all aim for, and it takes time.

But more to the point what is troubling you? Share if you like, most if not all of us have been through it... might it be homesickness, just the extreme disconnectedness?

Chin up old bean :)
Just remember, at any time, you're no more than 12hrs from civilisation ;0

User avatar
chris_pilgrim
Regular
Regular
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat, 09 Nov 2013
Location: a harbour in front

Postby chris_pilgrim » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:20 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Better a Durian.


smelt durians at Leicester Square (Chinatown) .... eewww ..

sorry but do you like it? :o
It is better to believe than to disbelieve. in doing, you bring everything to the realm of possibility.

beppi
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1751
Joined: Thu, 07 Sep 2006
Location: Ahlongistan (O$P$)

Postby beppi » Wed, 29 Jan 2014 10:23 pm

If you like the host, bring a good wine.
If you hate him, bring a Durian.

(Well, opinions might differ here, but I would hesitate to bring a gift that is ugly, dangerous and smells!)


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests