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Woman who wants to cure China of its bad manners

 
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Immie89 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:43pm

Number one rule of Royalty, ladies - no spitting! The woman who wants to cure China of its bad manners by importing a touch of British class

  • It is still acceptable behaviour in China to spit on the street, blow your nose in your hand, slurp your soup and unashamedly push ahead in a queue
  • Hong Kong born Sara Jane Ho was brought up in London and has imported British manners to Beijing with her school of etiquette
  • Ms Ho charges up to £10,000 to improve manners in China's high society

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2272395/Number-rule-Royalty-ladies--spitting-The-woman-set-cure-China-bad-manners-importing-touch-British-class.html#ixzz2K9LWuw5c

Elegance, to a tea: Sara Jane Ho charges thousands to teach manners to Beijing women

Elegance, to a tea: Sara Jane Ho charges thousands to teach manners to Beijing women



They buy more Bentleys than the British, fill their luxury homes with more Swarovski crystal than the Swiss, and spend more on Louis Vuitton and Versace than the French or the Italians. But one precious commodity has eluded the Chinese in their extraordinary rise from peasant nation to superpower: good manners.

Officials are so exasperated by the tendency to spit, shout, slurp and push in at queues that they have taken to pleading and cajoling. It is not long since Shanghai launched a ‘Seven Nos’ campaign: no spitting, no littering, no vandalism, no damaging greenery, no jaywalking, no smoking in public places and no swearing. It was a  dismal failure.

During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, a squad of 1,500 supervisors was sent out to discourage fighting at bus stops. Paper bags were handed out by volunteers in uniforms emblazoned with the Chinese characters for mucus.

But when a Beijing university set  up a ‘civic index’ to calculate the level of politeness, researchers concluded glumly that the city was still a long way off international norms and the index was quietly dropped.

Now, however, a school of etiquette is about to open in Beijing with classes based on the deportment of the British aristocracy – and the decorous behaviour of the Duchess of Cambridge.

Sara Jane Ho, a Hong Kong businesswoman who grew up in London, is offering lessons in being classy to an exclusive clientele for an appropriately princely sum: courses at her Institute Sarita, based in the five-star Park Hyatt Hotel in Beijing, cost from £2,000 to £10,000.

Dozens of society wives have signed up for lectures on how to use a knife and fork properly, how to peel a piece of fruit, how to greet a prospective mother-in-law, how to walk in heels and how to eat soup without slurping. High-powered bosses of Chinese state-owned companies are also hiring Sara Jane for lessons on how to conduct themselves at business meetings in Europe and America. 

She says a subtle pro-British snobbery is driving the desire of wealthy Chinese to improve themselves socially: ‘There is an aura of mystery about European royalty that Chinese people can’t resist. Any aristocracy in China was wiped out, so the Chinese are fascinated by the idea of a royal dynasty that stretches back hundreds of years.’

Sara Jane plans to show her students pictures and videos of Kate Middleton – someone who, like China itself, rose from a relatively humble background to take her place at the top table.

She says: ‘Kate is probably the most followed Royal in China. She is very elegant, very classy. Even though she is not from an aristocratic family, she carries herself very well and I think she is a role model for the younger generation around the world.

‘All my students will know who she is. It is very demanding to be a role model and to have everybody watch your every move, but she has carried it off with so much class and patience. She seems to exude kindness and etiquette awareness and care for others. The English adore her as well, don’t they?’

Culture clash: Sara Jane Ho teaches table manners at her etiquette school in a five-star hotel in Beijing where students pay £2,000-£10,000 to learn how to behave

Culture clash: Sara Jane Ho teaches table manners at her etiquette school in a five-star hotel in Beijing where students pay £2,000-£10,000 to learn how to present themselves the British way

Clear instructions: A no spitting sign at a textile factory in Zhejiang Province

Clear instructions: A 'no spitting' sign at a textile factory in Zhejiang Province

Sipping elegantly from a bowl of vegetable soup in a trendy Beijing restaurant, Sara Jane, a 27-year-old graduate of Harvard Business School, says China misplaced its manners during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Her own family fled and then made its  fortune in Hong Kong.

In her plummy British accent, she says: ‘I am Chinese and very proud of my country. I don’t think the vast majority of Chinese people are purposely offensive. They just haven’t been enlightened to etiquette awareness.

‘The Cultural Revolution wiped a lot of that away. When you are pushing to the front of the food ration line just to get that last bit of rice to feed your family, you don’t have the luxury to think about etiquette. You are just trying to survive.’

She is hoping to invite British  aristocrats to lecture her students and even has plans to lead classes on a Grand Tour, taking in the opera houses and art galleries of Europe to complete their education.

Model behaviour: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is the inspiration for many young, high society Chinese women

Model behaviour: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, is the inspiration for many young, high society Chinese women

Converting Beijing’s nouveau riche will be no small task. At an introductory lesson, female students drove up in a convoy of Maseratis, Ferraris and Bentleys, then emerged in a maelstrom of fur and diamonds. Their nails were so ornate they had difficulty handling the cutlery.

‘In Hong Kong and London, it is all about subtlety,’ explains Sara Jane. ‘In Beijing, I will go out for lunch with a girlfriend and she will have a big Marc Jacobs ring that you open up and it’s a lip balm. When I go out to socialite events in Beijing and I put on minimal make-up, they say, “Darling, you didn’t put make-up on today. Are you feeling OK?” ’

Multi-millionaire’s wife Zaozao Jiang, one of her new students, says the shocking manners of her fellow countrymen have almost driven her abroad. ‘I simply can’t abide people who pick their noses, spit and talk too loudly,’ complains the glamorous 30-year-old Beijing socialite.

Zaozao, whose husband heads one of China’s biggest auction houses and has a family income equivalent to £1 million a month, is an eye-catching regular in the society columns of China’s glossy magazines.

 She adds: ‘Some people behave like barbarians. They eat and drink loudly and take phone calls in the middle of dinner or at a movie. There are so many wealthy people in China but they have no manners. I often think about migrating to another country because of it.’

Zaozao will pay between £5,000 and £6,000 for her course and says she is already amazed at what she has learned from two introductory sessions, adding: ‘We were taught how to shake hands, and how you should always have eye contact when you’re talking to people. Before the course, I didn’t know how to wipe my mouth properly with a napkin or how to fold it before placing it in my lap – or even how to tear a piece of bread and put butter on it.’

She pauses, then adds with a shudder: ‘It’s only now that I realise how terribly rude I must have seemed.’

China’s lack of manners has become something of a national embarrassment, with academics openly debating in the state-run media how habits can be changed. Certainly, public behaviour can come as a shock to Westerners.

On one of my first visits in 2004, I learned not to put my head out of a bus window. When I did so, a man three rows ahead spat expertly and copiously out of the window and scored a direct hit on me. It is not uncommon to see people blowing their noses without a handkerchief.

My translator told me, however, that many Chinese believe phlegm is toxic and that spitting it out expels poison from the body. To them, she said, our habit of blowing our noses into a handkerchief and putting it in our pockets is just as repugnant.

Sara Jane hopes that the perfect manners she is teaching will trickle down to the rest of Chinese society: a new form of cultural revolution. ‘When I say I’m starting an etiquette school the first thing people say to me is, “Thank you. China needs this,” ’ she says.



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beebeexx View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote beebeexx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:45pm
meh
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gkisses Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:45pm
She looka lika man

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Immie89 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Immie89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:47pm
LOL why did i know yall would go in on her appearance ?I love BHM.

But yeah she looking kinda tranny. Too much face work done.

But can we focus on how this woman is charging the rich 10,000 to act rich? Shes smart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Naturalchick30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:52pm
Lmao
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote jonesable Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:53pm
I think it's insulting to her culture.
Maybe for hygiene and health reasons that advice is practical.

But her acting like her experience while in the dignified air of Britain has made her better than them China folk is a turn off.


It's a difference between experiencing new and better things then bringing them back to your people for the better but this doesn't come off that way to me

Edited by jonesable - Feb 06 2013 at 2:12pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote sugabanana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:55pm
What they putting a ban on snot rockets???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (6) Thanks(6)   Quote gabi03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 1:58pm
Asians have mastered white worship...they would give their left arm to be like them.

This woman is smart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote ms_wonderland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 2:00pm
This is going to sound bad but oh well...I went to a predominately Chinese school from k-8 so Ive ended up spending a lot of time with Chinese ppl in those yrs and subsequent years. There will be no way in hell to adjust those behaviors. Ppl from that culture do the most socially unacceptable shyt I've ever seen in my life with nary a fck to give.

You will be pushed, trampled, spit on, coughed on, sneezed on, hygiene beyond subpar. They NEED the help, badly. I can't even eat Chinese food. I just can't. Chinese new yr is awesome though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (4) Thanks(4)   Quote OoDles O Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2013 at 2:05pm
that whole spitting shyt is disgusting

as well as the standing all on a brothers back waiting inline to go through immigration 


Edited by OoDles O - Feb 06 2013 at 2:06pm
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