Lihi

People in the Philippines believe in lihi. It is when pregnant women starve for a food always or would always want to see or have something. Lihi is a noun, naglihi (past tense) and maglilihi or maglihi (future tense) are verbs. Old people say that people should only show pregnant women photographs of beautiful and handsome people so that the baby will also become beautiful or handsome. Women who always want to see someone especially if that someone annoys or entertains her so much, the baby will look like that someone. If the woman will experience lihi with a monkey, the child will look like a monkey; if with turtles, the child might become a hunchback; if with radish, the child will have fair and smooth complexion.

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Wear modestly

Philippines is a democratic country where people can be free to decide for themselves as long as they are not stepping on others’ rights but it doesn’t mean that they really can all the time. There are still rules to be followed because their freedom, though won’t literally touch other’s rights, can bother other people in some ways. This is what people from other ‘open’ countries should understand and abide when they are in the Philippines. They have to dress as modest as the Filipinos. They also have to wear clothes based on the event of the place they will be going. When one says business attire, he really means strict business attire and those which will allow assets which are supposed to be hidden to be shown are not allowed. Except for the main cities in the country, it’s appreciated more if one will be in one-piece swim suit or wet suits than sexy two-piece swim suits when going to the resorts. Filipino are not used in swimming in public places naked.

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Filipinos’ Concept of Shame

From the influence of the Spanish people, Filipinos are known to be refined, modest and unassuming. They may feel ashamed of doing some things. Their term for shame is “hiya”. Sometimes, even when they have the right or even the authority to do something, they may still prohibit their selves of doing it because they don’t like to appear like they are arrogant, cruel, rude, or have no breeding or were not educationally oriented (termed as “walang pinag-aralan”). Filipinos will really try to maintain their wit and modesty in any situation. Because of that, they may also expect other people, even the foreigners, to also behave that way when they are in any area in the Philippines

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Importance of Guanxi

When doing business, Chinese attach great importance to “Guanxi”, which is the private relationship with the partners. So please keep in touch with your Chinese friends by making phone calls with them to have a talk. This shows that they are important in your mind. Building a harmonious relationship will help you a lot when you want to do business with them.

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A Chinese name is appreciated

Most Chinese people don’t speak very good English. It’s a good idea to get yourself a Chinese name before doing business in China. It can be your first endeavor to start a good partnership with them. Simply go to your interpreter and have your own Chinese name translated.

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Go to a bathhouse

If your business counterparts invite you to take a bath with them, they actually mean it. In northern China, going to a bathhouse is not only a lifestyle but also a popular social activity. It is normal for same sex people to take a bath together in a public bathtub, where scrubbing service is provided. Bathhouses are usually equipped with Sauna rooms, Majongg tables, canteen, TV area and beds. It is a place for entertainment, relaxation and guanxi development.

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Bear claw for great respect

Though it is not legal to do in China giving a bear claw to your host is considered as a great honor. The bear claw represents respect, strength and honor. There a rumors that some respected hotels in Hong Kong still keep a bear claw in the freezer for when a special person visits their hotel.

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What to talk about?

Great conversation topics with your Chinese host are family, children, football or other sports, food or industry. With the topics you can build up a closer relationship with your host. Please try to be open about your own personal life also, this is very much appreciated.

If you are talking with Chinese please be very careful when talking about Tibet, Taiwan, Japan or Chinese politics. Chinese do not like to talk about these subjects, but also they are very easy offended with these conversation topics. Try not to mention these topics or keep a neutral opinion.

Avoid discussing Diaoyu Island

Diaoyu Island has been a cause of conflicts between China and Japan for decades. This is the one of the most concerned political issues in Chinese society. The Japanese culture has a great influence on younger generation of China, but politically, the hatred towards the Japanese among Chinese citizens has never diminished since WWII. Such emotions are still easily provoked when it comes to politics. Therefore, it is not advised to talk about these issues with Chinese people.

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