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2014-01-22    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Cross-Cultural Sensitivity

There are frequent expressions of concern from north to south and east to west about the soaring outbound hordes of mainland Chinese tourists. On the one hand, local merchants want the money. On the other, crowding and resource constraints are an issue.


Kudos to the China National Tourism Administration, which has issued a 64-page booklet aimed at its outbound tourists, filled with do’s and don’ts, and tips on avoiding “uncivilized” behavior.


According to the South China Morning Post, various mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong were interviewed about the booklet. In general, they welcomed the new guidelines. In other words, mainland tourists appear receptive to constructive criticism, and aware of their need to become more culturally sensitive.


Some examples of the “don’ts” contained in the new booklet:


• Don’t’ give a handkerchief as a gift in Italy (bad luck)

• Don’t discuss the royal family in Thailand

• Don’t touch people’s things in Nepal with your foot

• Don’t use your left hand in India to touch other people

• Don’t eat a whole piece of bread in one mouthful

• 在意大利不要送别人手绢(代表霉运)。

• 在泰国不要议论皇室。

• 在尼泊尔不要用脚碰别人的东西。

• 在印度不要用左手接触别人。

• 不要一口吞下整个面包。

Some examples of the “do’s”:


• Use shower curtains in the hotel

• Keep quiet when waiting to board a plane

• Be on time if you’re part of a tour group

• Arrive 15 minutes early to a banquet hall and dress properly

• Keep cell phones off until aircraft have landed and come to a complete stop

• 在酒店洗澡应拉好浴帘。

• 候机时应保持安静。

• 随团旅行应注意守时。

• 出席宴会应提前15分钟到场并穿着得体。

• 飞机落地并完全停稳前手机应一直保持关闭状态。

These are all good suggestions, if somewhat comical to the well-travelled global consumer. Still, credit is due to the authorities for recognizing the severity of the problem and addressing it openly and constructively.


I might add a few suggestions of my own, based on personal experience and observation:


• a buffet table is not the same as a scrum in rugby football; please slow down and yield right of way

• when eating soup noodles in a mixed group while overseas, try not to make it sound like an outboard motor testing facility

• it is really not cool to collect samples of natural life of any sort from national and state parks

• a coral reef is to be respected as a protected area, totally unlike a buffet table

• if someone who is dining with you wishes to join you in drinking and toasting, that’s great. If not, don’t pressure them.

• if it says “No Smoking”, it really means “No Smoking”

• a growing audience of global consumers are very aware and concerned about the decimation of shark populations for Chinese consumption of shark fin soup. Ignore this trend at your peril.

• 吃自助餐不是打橄榄球,请礼让慢行。

• 在国外当众吃汤面,请不要发出外挂马达式的轰鸣。

• 从国家公园和州立公园“搜集”各种动植物样本的行为一点儿都不酷。

• 要尊重和保护珊瑚礁,别把它当成自助餐台。

• 一同进餐的人如果愿意和你举杯畅饮那当然好,如果不愿意,请不要强求。

• 如果有“禁止吸烟”的指示牌,就真的意味着“禁止吸烟”。

• 越来越多的外国消费者开始留意并担心中餐中的鱼翅汤羹对鲨鱼种群的戕害,所以请勿以身犯险。

But, since bi-cultural affairs are at least two-way street if not a multi-lane highway, the above list made me think of some suggestions for foreigners to complement those aimed at Chinese outbound tourists.


Some suggested examples:


• To the Americans: please do not shut down your government at the start of our Golden Week holidays, preventing us from enjoying your national parks and monuments

• To the Parisians: go easy on us even though we don’t speak French, and stop picking our pockets

• To the Italians: we like your pasta, but stop picking our pockets

• To the Germans: we don’t like your food, but thanks for not picking our pockets

• To the Philippines: we also don’t like your food (although your music is pretty good), but please say sorry after incidents involving avoidable loss of life of Chinese tourists

• 美国人:请不要在黄金周关闭政府,让我们不能游览国家公园和纪念馆。

• 巴黎人:就算我们不会说法语,也请对我们好一点,不要偷我们的东西。

• 意大利人:我们爱吃意大利面,但请别偷我们的东西。

• 德国人:我们不喜欢你们的饮食,但感谢你们的不偷之恩。

• 菲律宾人:我们也不喜欢你们的饮食(你们的音乐还是很不错的),但在中国游客遇到本可避免的人身伤亡后,能不能说声对不起?

All these things need to be balanced and reciprocal, but that is why countries have foreign ministries and tourism authorities.


Surely we can do a better job of educating our people, no matter where they hail from.


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