Taiwanese CULTURE & Etiquette, What NOT to do!

In this video, I go over some of the more common cultural nuances which can prove to be a bit overwhelming for new-comers to Taiwan.

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18 Replies to “Taiwanese CULTURE & Etiquette, What NOT to do!”

  1. 中華民國反共復國戰士

    Really informative information about Taiwanese culture for westerners.

    As a Taiwanese, I would like to make some comments about our culture etiquette.

    1. The usual greeting by handshake is quite common (introduced by the West) in Taiwan.

    2. Palms together (namaste /anjali mudra) greeting is only practiced by the Buddhist community in Taiwan. Usually Taiwanese do not greet it this way, unless you're a Buddhist. This greeting style originated from India and is more common in India, Thailand, Myanmar and countries influenced by Buddhism.

    3. I see the "hold fist salute" (抱拳禮) in this video. This type of greeting is only practised by Chinese Kungfu practitioner (martial artist) in Taiwan. Usually, Taiwanese do not greet like this in daily life.

    4. Traditional Chinese greeting is known as" Fist and Palm Salute" (拱手禮). This has been practiced by Chinese for thousands of years, but went to decline in the 20th century in the daily lives. This etiquette is only preserved in Chinese religious rituals such as that of Taoism. However, in the 21st century, it was being revived by the traditional Chinese culture practitioner to be practised in traditional Chinese customs.

    5. Taiwanese in the Chinese speaking world is just like the French in the western world. Taiwanese are known to be extremely friendly, polite and culturally refined. We are proud of our own culture and are not shy to promote our culture. The friendliness, politeness and culture refinement seen in Taiwanese is very much influenced by Confucianism, which is widely taught in Taiwan's education. If you come to Taiwan, you will experience Taiwanese's hospitality and friendliness.

    It's very common in Taiwan to see Taiwanese stop by to help Tourist navigate the way. Say you're looking at the map trying to find your way. It's a common practice for any stranger Taiwanese to "automatically" stop by and lend you a helping hand. Some will even help you and bring you to the place.

    We Taiwanese call this culture seen in Taiwan as "human warmth" (人情味), "friendliness' or "human touch".

  2. James Procter

    These videos are AMAZING! I'm taking a class in college on the culture of Taiwan to fulfil a history requirement. It wound up being a class in the Chinese department and I do not take Chinese nor know anything about the language or characters. My professor played on of these Videos in class and I have been watching the rest to learn more, as the info Is given in English and In great detail. I am currently doing research for a paper on what is the culture of Taiwan. and I I love how in-depth the explanations are. It's really helping me with my paper.

  3. diego h

    The only thing I don't like, is the fact that you keep referring to the locals as "these people"; it sounds a bit degrading, as if they were inferior from foreigners. Im not saying you think that way, I mean that "these people" sounds not very friendly and respectful.
    I do, however, appreciate all the details you give about living in Taiwan and all your insights on daily activities, shopping, working, etc.
    Thank you!

  4. Nomad Soul

    Another thing I like about shopping here simple. In the US you have to figure out how much the tax is when you get checkout and worry if you have enough money.

  5. brainwashkenny1

    Don't send shoe, umbrella or a clock as gift to Taiwanese (or Chinese). Send shoe means you will get in trouble and running for police(跑路). Send umbrella means your carrer or your company will be collapse(散掉). Send clock means you are about to die(送終). Most of them will not angry with you because you are foreigner. But they will pay you like 10NT, that means they are buy it from you, not as a gift.

  6. RedDesertPhoenix

    I've noticed that pretty much every worker who has taken my money or given change, has done so with two hands. As a customer, should I also be using two hands give and receive money?

  7. Seantyguy

    Awesome video, sir! I remember before I went to Taiwan for the first time I couldn't find much about specific Taiwanese etiquette, so this is a nice addition to YouTube, for sure.

  8. Doug Kennedy

    great video! we sometimes do the fist-in-palm thing as a archaic joke, or when saying congratulations in an overly enthusiastic way 😂. It's a common gesture in old period dramas so maybe that's where people pick it up.

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