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 Invitations in China 中国习俗 (来源:老牌的英语学习网站 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

  You may wonder what foreigners think of our customs and traditions at parties and banquets. Find out what Chinese parties look like in the eye of a westerner. 才了解了在美国应邀赴约的习俗,你一定也想知道老外眼中中国的饭局习俗吧。下面的这篇文章是个美国人写的,所以对他的观点别太较真儿。毕竟,中国那么大,文化那么多样,许多是我们自己也尚未了解的。

  It is fair to say that the number one pastime in China is eating. 在中国,把吃饭看作第一消遣方式一点也不为过。

  Banquets are usually held in restaurants in private rooms that have been reserved for the purpose. You will be met at the door and led to the banquet room. Traditionally, the head of your delegation should enter the room first. Do not be surprised if your hosts greet you with a loud round of applause. The proper response is to applaud back.


  Seating arrangements are stricter than in the West. Guests should never assume that they may sit where they please and should wait for hosts to guide them to their places. Traditionally, the Chinese regard the right side as the superior and the left side as the inferior. Therefore on formal occasions, the host invariably arranges for the main guests to sit on his right side.


  It is the host's responsibility to serve the guests, and at very formal banquets people do not begin to eat until the host has served a portion to the principal guest. Or, the host may simply raise his chopsticks and announce that eating has begun. After this point, one may serve oneself any food in any amount. Remember to go slow on eating. Don't fill yourself up when five courses are left to go. To stop eating in the middle of a banquet is rude, and your host may incorrectly think that something has been done to offend you.


  Drinking takes an important place in Chinese banquets. It is likely that the host will stand and hold his glass out with both hands while saying a few words. When he says the words "gan bei", which means bottoms up, all present should drain their glasses. After this initial toast, drinking and toasting are open to all. No words are needed to make a toast, and it is not necessary to drain your glass, although to do so is more respectful. When filling another's glass, it is polite to fill it as full as you can. This symbolizes full respect and friendship.


  When the last dish is finished, the banquet has officially ended. There is little ceremony involved with its conclusion. The host may ask if you have eaten your fill. Then the principal host will rise, signaling that the banquet has ended. Generally, the principal host will bid good evening to everyone at the door and stay behind to settle the bill with the restaurateur. Other hosts usually accompany guests to their vehicles and remain outside waving until the cars have left the premises.


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·Informal Language 美语中的非正式用语

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