Learning Etiquette

Beijing School of Etiquette. Photo: Sara Jane Ho

Beijing School of Etiquette.
Photo: Sara Jane Ho

In early 2013, Hong Kong native and Harvard Business School graduate Sara Jane Ho established a Beijing School of Etiquette to teach Chinese good ‘international’ manners, charging US$3,200-16,000 for classes. There are also less expensive avenues for acquiring social graces. China’s Ministry of Education recently devised an etiquette curriculum for Chinese students. Lessons for younger schoolchildren cover good table manners and how to show respect for one’s elders. Older students will learn about interacting politely with members of the opposite sex, introducing themselves to strangers as well as basic principles for dealing with foreigners. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also published volumes devoted to appropriate ways to interact with foreigners, whether in China or abroad.