Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chinese release 8 "don't ask" rules for the Olympics

I just ran across this article about posters that are springing up all over Beijing. Aimed toward the Chinese population, they are the government's 8 "don't ask" rules when talking to foreigners and disabled athletes. They seem pretty logical, but it makes sense. Many Chinese feel very comfortable asking foreigners about their incomes, love life & marriage and will freely comment on your health, etc. I've had to dodge more than one question about my husbands job, what he makes, etc. Just another cultural difference!

Some samples:

"Don’t ask about income or expenses, don’t ask about age, don’t ask about love life or marriage, don’t ask about health, don’t ask about someone’s home or address, don’t ask about personal experience, don’t ask about religious beliefs or political views, don’t ask what someone does. In addition, some general rules for etiquette with handicapped athletes:
1. You should use polite and standard forms of address for handicapped athletes.
2. Try to keep as light as you can with handicapped overtones.
3. Pay attention to how you congratulate handicapped athletes.

Pay attention to avoiding taboo subjects, quit using bad platitudes, and do not use insulting or discriminatory contemptuous or derogatory terms to address the disabled. Say things such as, “You are amazing,” or “You are really great.” When chatting with the visually impaired, do not say things like “It’s up ahead,” or “It’s over there.” When chatting with athletes who are paraplectic in their upper body, do not say things like “It’s behind you.”

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