China has an etiquette system encompassing all its ethnic groups, each with a unique culture. Take Luoba nationality for example. Before treating guests to dinner, they take a bite first to demonstrate the innocence of their food.
In general, Chinese cultural etiquette has evolved largely from the Zhou (1034–221 BC) rituals related to eating. At its core is the respect for authority and parents. Therefore, seating is essential to a dinner. Gone are the elaborate rituals, but basic rules are still valid: the elderly and first-time guests are given priority, followed by children, whose ascendance in status is due to the one-child policy. Generally, Chinese dine at a round table or baxianzhuo (Table of the Eight Immortals). The seat facing the dining room’s main entrance is the most important, with the degree of distinction lessening from left to right alternately.
Being early for home gatherings is welcome, but tardiness might be ‘penalized’ by an extra shot of wine. For drinking is a test of shrewdness. Sobriety with alcohol is a manly virtue. A dinner party could be raucous, each trying to get anyone but oneself drunk.
Monetary values used to be attached to gifts. Nowadays, however, gifts of sentiments become increasingly popular. A bottle of wine is good enough for a dinner invitation. As birthday gifts to the elderly, pears and angel-hair noodles symbolize longevity. Sending clocks is taboo, as the act sounds songzhong, a homophone of ‘see to one’s funeral’. Some of the other taboos include chopsticks straight up in a bowl of rice, as if it were offered to the dead. A little noise from eating soup may be tolerable, but smacking is repugnant.
Etiquette has regional flavours, too. Hooking up the middle and forefingers to tap on a tea table on the knuckles may be a gesture of thanks in Guangdong, but, with a slight twist, may signify ‘I love you’ in Beijing.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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  • étiquette — [ etikɛt ] n. f. • estiquette « poteau de but » 1387, mot picard; de l a. v. estiquer « attacher, ficher », néerl. stikken, frq. °stikkan; cf. astiquer, ticket I ♦ 1 ♦ (1549) Dr. Vx Écriteau sur le dossier d un procès, portant les noms du… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Etiquette — Étiquette Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • etiquette — ETIQUETTE. s. f. Petit escriteau qu on met, qu on attache sur un sac de procés, contenant les noms du demandeur, & du deffendeur, du Procureur &c. Il faut mettre une etiquette à ce sac. On dit fig. & prov. Juger, condamner sur l etiquette du sac …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • etiquette — et‧i‧quette [ˈetɪket ǁ kət] noun [uncountable] the formal rules for behaviour: • the professional rules of etiquette imposed by the Law Society • Business etiquette (= rules for behaviour by businesspeople ) is still very important in corporate… …   Financial and business terms

  • Etiquette — Et i*quette , n. [F. prop., a little piece of paper, or a mark or title, affixed to a bag or bundle, expressing its contents, a label, ticket, OF.estiquete, of German origin; cf. LG. stikke peg, pin, tack, stikken to stick, G. stecken. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • etiquette — 1750, from Fr. étiquette prescribed behavior, from O.Fr. estiquette label, ticket (see TICKET (Cf. ticket)). The sense development in French perhaps is from small cards written or printed with instructions for how to behave properly at court (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • etiquette — ► NOUN ▪ the code of polite behaviour in a society. ORIGIN French, list of ceremonial observances of a court , also label, etiquette , from Old French estiquette (see TICKET(Cf. ↑ticket)) …   English terms dictionary

  • etiquette — [et′i kit, et′iket] n. [Fr étiquette, lit., TICKET] 1. the forms, manners, and ceremonies established by convention as acceptable or required in social relations, in a profession, or in official life 2. the rules for such forms, manners, and… …   English World dictionary

  • ETIQUETTE — (Heb. דֶּרֶךְ־אֶרֶץ, derekh ereẓ), the proper conduct of man at home and in society. The sages demanded of the Jew, particularly the scholar, good manners in all his activities. The rules of derekh ereẓ are assembled in the tractates Avot, Derekh …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Etiquette — (fr., spr. Etikett), 1) die Aufschrift, Anschrift an etwas; 2) das Zettelchen, das man an die Waaren heftet, enthält außer der Angabe der Qualität auch wohl Ein u. Verkaufspreis. Auch Pflanzen u. junge Bäume pflegt man mit E n zu versehen, worauf …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Etiquette — Etiquette, s. Etikette …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

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