Facts and Statistics
Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Population: 6,855,125 (July 2004 est.)
Ethnic Make-up: Chinese 95%, other 5%
Religions: eclectic mixture of local religions 90%, Christian 10%
Language in Hong Kong
English and Chinese are Hong Kong's two official languages. TheCantonese dialect is the most commonly spoken language in theterritory, though English is the language of the business and service industries; hotel employees, many urban Hong Kong residents, most young people and shop and service personnel understand and speak it to some degree. Other Chinese dialects. such as Mandarin (Putonghua), Shanghainese, and Chiu-Chow can be heard as well.
Major hotels have employees with knowledge of other languages, such as French,German, Japanese and Mandarin. Translation services in many languages are also available from major hotels' business centres.
Hong Kong Society & Culture
The Concept of Face
.Face is an intangible quality that reflects a person's reputation, dignity, and prestige.
.You may lose face, save face, or give face to another person.
.Companies as well as individuals have face and this isoften the rationale behind business transactions.
.You give someone face by complimenting them, showing them respect, or doing anything that increases their self-esteem.
.Such actions must be done with the utmost sincerity. Doing them in a patronizing manner causes both parties to lose face.
.Humiliating people by publicly reprimanding them, insulting them publicly, or contradicting them in frontof someone else causes them to lose face.
Confucianism / Hierarchy / Family Values
.The teachings of Confucius describe the position of the individual in Hong Kong Chinese society.
.Confucianism is a system of behaviours and ethics that stress the obligations of people towards one another based upon their relationship. .Confucianism stresses duty, loyalty, honour, filial piety, respect forage and seniority, and sincerity.
.These traits are demonstrated by the Hong Kong Chinese in their respect for hierarchical relationships.
.Although not readily apparent to the casual observer, there are strict rules about appropriate behaviour and the manner in which people must act in order to respect the hierarchy.
Etiquette and Customs in Hong Kong
Meeting and Greeting
.The handshake iscommonly used when greeting westerners.
.The Hong Kong Chinese handshake is rather light.
.During the greeting, many Hong Kong Chinese lower their eyes as a sign of respect.
.There is no need for you to emulate this gesture, although prolonged eye contact should be avoided during the greeting.
.If you are at a large function, you may introduce yourself to other guests.
.At smallerfunctions, it is polite to wait for your host or hostess to introduce you.
.The Chinese traditionally have 3 names: The surname, or family name is first and is followed by two personal names. The first personal name is their father's name and the second personal name is their own name.
.Address the person by an honorific title and their surname.
.If they want to move to a first name basis, they willadvise you which name to use.
.Some Chinese adopt more western names and may ask you to call them by that name.
Gift Giving Etiquette
.A gift may be refused one or two times before it is accepted.
.If you are invited to someone's home, bring good quality sweets, fruit, flowers, or imported spirits to the hostess.
.Do not give red or white flowers.
.Do not give scissors, knives or othercutting utensils, as they indicate that you want to sever the relationship.
.Do not give clocks, handkerchiefs or straw sandals, as they are associated with funerals and death.
.Do not wrap gifts in white, blue or black paper.
.Gold and red are lucky colours, so they make excellent gift wrapping.
.Elaborate gift wrapping is important.
.Do not give odd numbers as many are considered...