Select Country
China / Indonesia / Malaysia

Asian Customs and Etiquettes

How to get an Asian to respect you?

The basic culture around Asia is collectivist, in other words highly interdependent, and more socialized than the European-based individualistic nations. Mannerisms stemming from this collectivist society value family, spirituality, and honor. Asian Etiquettes reflect beliefs and cultural habits that are the fabric of Asian societies. It is the way an Asian show respect to each other. It is the way they blend in and interact, showing pride in their cultures and beliefs. It is essential to know these for doing travelling and business in these counties. So if you want to be accepted as a trustworthy, credible person and good friend, you’d better forget about how you do things at home, and put in your homework on business etiquette and culture. The assumptions, values and beliefs that Asians use on a day-to-day basis are what make them tick. If you want to do travel and business in Asia, you have to follow those unconscious, subtle and often indirect rules of business.

Asian Etiquettes by country

In China, deeply rooted in society is the need to belong and conform to a unit, whether the family, a political party or an organization. The family is the focus of life for most Chinese. Age and rank are highly respected. However, to the dismay of older people, today’s young people are rapidly modernizing, wearing blue jeans and sunglasses, drinking Coke and driving motorbikes. never talk about siblings as many of the population in China are one child families and this may seem as ignorant on your part. Never talk about democracy openly as you may get arrested for conspiring against their government. There are many tribal Chinese women who must not be physically touched as that is a sign of a marriage proposal. Mostly, Chinese manners include strict discipline, bowing as greeting, and avoidance of asking about siblings

In Indonesia, Paying respect to elders and obeying teachers are expected among Asian youth, such as shown here in Indonesia. The students quietly listen to their teacher’s explanation during their school excursion.Indonesia has a Muslim majority population, and some points of etiquette in the Middle East apply. Following are some key points of Indonesian etiquette. Shaming or humiliating people in public is considered extremely rude. Always use your right hand, when shaking hands, offering a gift, handing or receiving something, eating, pointing or generally touching another person

chinese tea

In Malaysia, It is considered rude to wear shoes inside a house. One would usually take off shoes outside the house and leave them by the door. When shaking the hand of elders, the younger person is expected to touch the top of the elder’s palm with the tip of their nose or forehead to express respect. It is similar to kissing a hand, but only using the tip of the nose or forehead, not lips. It is considered rude to not “Salam” a person whether they are visiting you or vice versa.It is considered improper to show affection (such as kissing) ones partner or spouse in public as it is not showing modesty and piety.One usually eats with the right hand.When handing things to people use either your right hand or both hands. Not your left hand.Girls should dress modestly and not wear revealing clothing. Never say “Oi!” when calling out someone.

About Author

Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.