Comparative Research on Chinese and Western Table Manners

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Comparative Research on Chinese and Western Table Manners

Abstract

As Chinese reform and opening accelerates dramatically, transnational communication also increases quickly. We must be willing to change in order to become an effective intercultural communicator. We must be willing to communicate; have empathy toward foreign and alien cultures; develop a universalistic, realistic approach to the universe; and be tolerant of views that differ from our own. Intercultural communication offers the arena for this interpersonal contact. Our abilities are improved according to international communication. Today transnational communication is so frequent that table manners become more and more important. They make not only the whole dining process more harmonious but also status of hostess and customers more obvious and their communication more convenient. Chinese and Western table manners have many differences in such aspects as tableware, table setting, seating arrangement, behaving at the table and so on. According to comparative research of these differences in this paper, it can help us analyze cultural differences between Chinese and western from value concept, moral criterion, social relation, history and custom. In this paper, the author is aiming at researching comparatively on Chinese and western table manners and finding out the reasons. The purpose is to prove the importance of improving our intercultural communication ability by means of doing the research on the different table manners and culture between China and the west.

Key words: etiquette; table manners; culture; intercultural communication Acknowledgements

My deepest gratitude goes first and foremost to tutor Fan, my supervisor, for her constant encouragement and guidance. She has walked me through all the stages of the writing of this thesis. Without her consistent and illuminating instruction, this thesis could not have reached its present form. Second, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Professor Shi, who led me into the world of translation. I am also greatly indebted to the professors and teachers at the Department of English and they have instructed and helped me a lot in the past two years. Last my thanks would go to my beloved family for their loving considerations and great confidence in me all through these years. I also owe my sincere gratitude to my friends and my fellow classmates who gave me their help and time in listening to me and helping me work out my problems during the difficult course of the thesis.

Contents

中文摘要……………………………………………………………………..ⅰ Abstract………………………………………………………………………ⅱ Acknowledgements………………………………………………………… ⅲ Introduction……………………………………………………………………1 Ⅰ. Definition and Background about Table Manners…………...……………4 Ⅱ. Comparison of Table Manners between China and the West……………...7 A. Gift and Time…………...………………………………………...……7 B. Tableware and Placement………………………………………………8 C. Seating Arrangement……………………………………………….....11 D. Behavior at the Table…………………………………...……………..11 1. Drinking and Toast………………………………………………….11 2. Eating Habits ...……………………………………………………..12 Ⅲ. Reasons of Differences of Table Manners between China and the West…………………………………………………………………..15 A. Differences on Value Concept and Moral Criteria…..………………..15 B. Differences on Social Relation………………………………….….....18 C. Differences on History and Custom…………………………….…….19 Conclusion……………………...……………………………………………21 Notes……………………..…………………………………………….…….22 Bibliography……………...………………………………………………….23
Comparative Research on Chinese and Western Table Manners

Introduction

We communicate with others all the time -- in our homes, on our campus, in the groups we belong to, and in the community. No matter how well we think and understand each other, communication is hard to well achieve. For example, we often hear things like, "He doesn't get it," or "She didn't really hear what I meant to...
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