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China - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture [Paperback]

Kathy Flower
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.95
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Book Description

2 Sep 2010 Culture Smart!
The spectacular Beijing Olympics of signalled China s arrival as a superpower on the world stage. The global economic crisis that followed saw it become banker to the West, poised to eclipse the United States. This new edition of Kathy Flower s bestselling Culture Smart! China has been revised and updated by the author to take on board the transformation in China s fortunes and the changing face of Chinese society. As China flexes its economic and political muscle abroad, ordinary people feel a new pride in their country s achievements. The embrace of free-market capitalism by the communist state has spread prosperity to many, with fortunes being made by some. But it has created losers as well as winners, particularly in the countryside. Gone is the security of the state s iron rice bowl provision for life, and unemployment or dispossession have opened up social gaps that could threaten its stability. For the moment the rumbling discontent is below the radar and under control, and for millions the Chinese virtues of enterprise, industry, and patience are paying handsome dividends. This edition of Culture Smart! China is completely revised making it the indispensable visitors guide to the complexities of a rapidly changing world power whose ancient culture and traditions owe little to the West.

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China - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture + Easy Peasy Chinese: Mandarin Chinese for Beginners (Reissues Education 2014) + Lonely Planet Mandarin Phrasebook & Dictionary (Lonely Planet Phrasebook: Mandarin)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard; New Revised Edition edition (2 Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857335023
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857335026
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 11.5 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 312,175 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


Culture Smart! has come to the rescue of hapless travellers, Sunday Times Travel -...the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries, Global Travel -...full of fascinating, as well as common sense, tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas, Observer useful as they are entertaining, Easy Jet Magazine -...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world, New York Times. --various

About the Author

KATHY FLOWER is a radio and TV producer, writer, and trainer who has specialized in the teaching of English as a Foreign Language. After leaving Paris where she worked with the British Council, she went to Beijing from 1981 to 1983 and co-presented China s first major English-language teaching series, Follow Me , on Chinese TV. The series ran every night for six years and she is still known to hundreds of millions of viewers as laoshi, or teacher . She has been back to work in China many times since. She runs an independent radio production company and lives in Sussex and southern France.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange little red book 11 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm quite bemused that other reviewers have placed this in the category of "this would have been useful". Honestly a tiny bit of research on Wikipedia would get you further. If you have NEVER come across anything about China in your life then this book will potentially help you. But I found its stilted style and haphazard use of adverbs irritating. "LUCKILY in 2005 UNESCO gave the center of Macau World Heritage status." Sorry, what, why "luckily"? I'd rather pack a bigger book written by someone who has greater powers of expressing their experiences- so for me a big no no.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars China Lite 23 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have never been to China but if I did I would most
certainly take this splendid little tome with me.
Author Kathy Flowers efforts for the "Culture Smart!"
series (published by Kuperard) packs a lot of useful
information into a very small space.

There are stacks of fascinating facts and figures which
cast a welcome light on this most insular of country's
way of life. What impresses me most about Ms Flowers take
on Chinese history and culture is her preparedness to take
on the thorny issue of past and present human rights abuses
as well as leaving room for some degree of optimism about
the possibility of change. (Many other guides bottle out!)

The section on 'The Media' is particularly enlightening:
"China has the largest number of Web users in the world.
It also has some of the tightest controls on sites of which
it does not approve : try typing words like 'freedom' or
'Falun Gong' into a search engine while in China and watch it
mysteriously crash." (It could never happen here...could it?!!)

On a lighter note, the two pages on 'Business Communication Styles'
are a hoot and a must have/must know for any budding entrepreneur
with his sights set on making a bob or a buck (or two) in Beijing!

Small but perfectly-formed and very useful.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not to bad. Bit lightweight. 15 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Not a bad book. I was looking for a lot more from this than I got. Specifically on the networking culture of relationships in business they have going on in China or perhpas the way they blend English and Chinese for websites, computer keyboards etc. More about the dialects and the way they interact.
I guess this is what I would call a primer. It's perhaps fine for anyone passing through China perhaps for a week or two on holiday but nothing more that that. The book is fairly thing and took me 2-3 minutes to leaf through it and I had read most of it in around 3 hours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Book - China 7 Dec 2010
By Alessi Lover TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Another great book in the series of travel places, customs and history.

Again pocket sized, so ideal for popping into your laptop bag on business.

Already have read the one on India and was pleased with this one on China too.

Interesting to read not only as a travel guide (no it doesn't give out useful addresses or days when places are closed or trips etc but does tell you a little about famous landmarks and places in China.

Helpful if going to a new country and not wanting to offend the locals, getting to know the low down on general manners etc. For business travellers there is also a section on just that, so the next time you have a meeting some words may be better understood after reading this section.

To find out just how the Chinese people do interact with each other and if the Chinese customs and cultures have changed over the years is interesting. Do the younger Chinese still carry on with some of their customs (feet binding etc, there is an interesting section on this, what might be right or wrong is totally different in different cultures some you may agree with others not. Yet by reading this book you get an insight into the Chinese one.

Not really a travel guide book, more a informative history of some aspects of China and the general manners and family life of those living over there. Worth reading before travelling over there on holiday or work just so then you know the local do's and don'ts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Cover Everything 18 Nov 2010
By Tazz Rainbow VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I got this book as I am very interested in customs, especially that of the Chinese. I expected to find a lot of reasons behind why they did certain things and to gain a big insight into the minds of Chinese customs. I didn't feel this book covered enough of that. It mentioned customs but not so much the reasons behind them. I felt it lacked the background story. I would have liked stories and myths of why this or that was done. For example the tea they love to drink. I would have loved to have learned why they are so obsessed with it and more traditions about that. But this book just simply said there was a tea drinking custom and to expect it. That was kind of it ! It was interesting but I wouldn't pay a lot for this book. It reminded me on the LOnely Planet City Guides. Just a small brief insight.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"China - Culture Smart!" is a compact little book with bite sized sections on everything one might need when visiting China, from Chinese values and attitudes, food and drink to religion and business. The beginning few chapters of the book gives a basic overview of China's history and customs. The following chapters contain more handy hints for the foreign visitor including what to do if you are ill, expectations of what to do when meeting new people and what to expect in terms of travelling and toilets.

I found that most of the book was geared towards people travelling to China on business or for education with lots of references to meetings, hosts and banquets, rather than a tourist. I also found certain points quite repetitive, particularly the parts about greeting people, business cards and topics of conversation. I also found there were some over-generalisations and the tone of the book wasn't quite as impartial as I would have liked.

Overall if you are going to work in China then this might give you a few pointers (e.g. gifts to take, what to wear) but for everyone else it is a little dry and you would want other guide books to accompany this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Just Ok.
I found this book, particularly towards the end, geared more for American business men more than anything else. I was also expecting more traditional customs and styles e.g. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bungysports
4.0 out of 5 stars Ideal Starting Point
While I have not verified the information within, I will say that this book is approachable, concise and very interesting to a novice student of Chinese culture. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Richard Crofts
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good informative book
This little book contains tons of information ,a really good read for every china lover and visitor.I highly recommend it.
Published 6 months ago by Anuhel
4.0 out of 5 stars Handy if you're looking to trade with China...
I read this handy guide on the long flight to Shanghai before embarking on my first ever business deals in China.... Read more
Published on 19 April 2012 by A. Betts
4.0 out of 5 stars Up to date guide
This is a valuable guide, you cannot underplay the usefulness of it being so up to date. It covers all of the cultural nuances that you feel desperate to know, so as not to insult,... Read more
Published on 15 Dec 2010 by Toby le Rhone
5.0 out of 5 stars A handy little book!
This is one of the best pocket guides to China I've found. It eschews telling you where to go and what to see and instead offers insights in to Chinese culture that might explain... Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2010 by J. Baldwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Small, compact and correct!
As a Chinese westerner that has never been to China, but has many chinese relatives living in Asia, it is hard to dispute the authors knowledge of the country and culture. Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2010 by J.Y
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
An interesting book that will give you all the facts and figures, historical background and culture observations that one could understand and put into context after reading this... Read more
Published on 25 Oct 2010 by R. Hallett
4.0 out of 5 stars Good little book
This is a great little book on China because it gives concise yet readable information on a wide array of topics. It covers everything from business, to culture, to history. Read more
Published on 21 Oct 2010 by Alexa
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