Do's and Don'ts
- The Taiwanese tend to be very hospitable and willing to help a stranger in need, perhaps more so than is common in Australia. Be receptive to their friendliness and try to reciprocate it.
- Be humble if you receive a compliment or flattery from your Taiwanese counterpart. They are likely to appreciate a sense of humility.
- Make an effort to inquire about a Taiwanese person’s family. Since family plays a central role in Taiwanese culture, it is a common and considerably important topic of conversation. Your interest is likely to be appreciated and welcomed.
- Since many Taiwanese names are imbued with meaning, inquiring about the meaning of their name is a good way to break the ice.
- Do not presume a Taiwanese person’s opinion regarding Taiwanese-Chinese relations. If you are unclear about their views, it’s a good idea to avoid referring to Taiwan as ‘China’.
- Avoid giving criticism towards a Taiwanese person or their family, business or Taiwan itself. This can lead to a loss of ‘face’ and leave your Taiwanese counterpart feeling embarrassed.
- Don’t assume that Taiwanese people have the same behavioural customs as those in China. Despite perceived similarities, expectations and practices in behaviour and etiquette differ between the two cultures.
- Never correct a Taiwanese person’s identity regarding whether they think of themselves as Taiwanese or Chinese. Whether one identifies as Taiwanese or Chinese is thought to be a personal choice and someone correcting this choice may be considered to be insensitive.
Want this profile as a PDF?
Get a downloadable, printable version that you can read later.