There are two common instances
when one must show respect: when you know that the person across the table is
of a higher rank or is older than you. Asians respect age and wisdom, a
fundamental principle, based on the five societal relationships of
For example, In a situation
where an elder is at the same doorway, he/she should respectfully be allowed to
pass through first. Visible gestures such as pausing, extending your
hand, bowing and "Please, after you" is common courtesy for Asians.
Although the gesture of politeness may be declined, one must refuse with grace
and allow respect for seniority.
Face is a complicated issue
based on Asian values. What does it mean to have 'Face'; and what does it
mean to 'Lose Face' in the context of Chinese culture?
For the Chinese, face is the
ultimate in Chinese logic. Preserving face for oneself and others is
essential to maintaining harmony in a relationship. Face is such a
delicate component of one's status that once you have caused someone to lose
face, particularly in public, prospects of business might be seriously
jeopardized. There is little margin for error, so learn the concept
quickly if you are to deal with the Chinese.
FACE IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT
THAN MONEY, the normal measuring stick of value for Chinese. To have face
is to be respected by others. One is given face when they are treated as
special. This is fundamentally different to the attitude in western
culture in which everyone is treated as equals.
What are examples of having
face? Not having to queue in line and being treated in a special manner,
that's face. HavIing the Chef prepare something not on the menu?
The perception of privilege is fundamental to face.
Never criticize, publicly or
privately. This causes great loss of face and will cost you face.
To lose face is to be humiliated - to lose one's credit or good name.
This is the ultimate for Chinese. Going bankrupt, or even having a
relative involved with something disreputable is losing face.
To 'lose face' is quite
different from having 'no face', which is different from not being 'given
face'. The difference between 'not having face' - which means ordinary
treatment with no recognition, - and 'not given face' which means to be rudely
treated or insulted - is quite subtle for westerners.
The Chinese investor is more
likely to do business with you if you give him face but he will definitely not
do business with you if you do not give him face. Things sound mysteriously
complicated but in truth, know that part of the negotiating dance is to
allow for the Asian to be in pursuit. This is a key to doing business
with Chinese. -
"I remember a businessman telling
me that he hated negotiating with corporate Japan because they always had to
win. With Americans, it isn't the Japanese concept of 'saving
face", though. Winning is a football metaphor. Padded,
meth-ed, steroided giants run over the other team. What a triumph.
Winning is overrated. A
narrow and angry mind can do great damage. We are starting to see
this in Canada, where Question Period is unwatchable. Winning isn't
a pure state. It's temporary. Total scorched-earth
winning is a loss by any definition except the American one". -
by Heather Mallick, GLOBE &
MAIL 9 July 2005
EDITOR'S NOTE: Well, isn't this
interesting? The concept of 'Face' in Asian culture makes its way
to today's stories of The Rich and Famous in Asia.
in-laws `humiliated' at nuptials
Indian father-in-law of British actress Elizabeth Hurley said he has cut ties
with his son, Arun Nayar, amid anger over their lavish wedding.
Vinod Nayar told the Sunday Mirror he and his wife
Joanne felt "publicly humiliated" and treated "like social
outcasts" at the event, which took place in Britain and India last month.
"Liz and Arun have treated us very shabbily. My
heart is heavy with pain," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
Nayar senior, a textile magnate, claims that the
couple seemed to disrespect Indian relatives and did not act with consideration
towards him and his wife.
"We were pushed into the background like poor
relations. This has broken my heart," Nayar, 66, continued.
"I have decided to cut all ties with my sons ...
I feel that Liz and Arun behaved shamefully and placed more importance on
showing off than their own family," Nayar senior added.
He said that he had not spoken to his son since the
wedding and had sent him a letter accusing him of having "disregarded me
like one of your office boys."
The letter reportedly went on to say: "You have
shown disrespect to me and my family, plus my dear friends who have been with
me since your birth.' - AGENCE
FRANCE-PRESSE 9 March 2007
Another Faux Pas by big
Western Celebrity :
Sorry Gere, but I'm sick of your apologizing
I do not regret one professional enemy I
have made. Any actor who doesn't dare to make an enemy should get out of the
business." So said the fireproof Bette Davis. If she were alive today,
someone would be pressing her to recant this defiant statement.
A sheepish Richard Gere is currently
avoiding the "circus" surrounding his having, at aNew Delhi
HIV/AIDS-awareness benefit, bent the obviously uncomfortable actress Shilpa
Shetty backwards into a
kiss so non-erotic, it would have been stricken from the Kama
Sutra in favour
of a fetching illustration of an ardent mule.
Harassed beyond comprehension, Gere, who
only awkwardly mimicked Adrian Brody's oral Oscar assault on Halle Berry, has
declared that he is very sorry to the Hindu fanatics who sought his arrest.
Initially, I supported the warrant for his
arrest issued by a court in Jaipur, if only to inform Gere that his gesture was
as erotic as, well, an amorous gerbil's. Or to advise him that protesting too
much (as with his and his ex-wife Cindy Crawford's "We are not gay!"
advertisement) only recalls Hamlet's mother's displeased summary of the play
within a play.
Was it Disraeli, Henry Ford or Attila the
Hun who proffered the following advice: "Never apologize, never
I don't care if it was the Family Matters
nerd Steve Urkel: The advice needs now, more than ever, to be adopted by mildly
transgressive celebrities addicted to the first exclamation of the litany of
In the last year, we have not only seen
stars behaving badly, but have also had to endure their regret, regret cribbed
from the ninth step of addiction recovery (make amends to people if possible)
and entirely lacking in credibility.
Preceding Gere's faint apology is Michael
Richards's square dance with Al Sharpton; Don Imus's collapsing sigh and Mel
Whatever happened to the kind of remorse
that the alleged bottle rapist, Fatty Arbuckle, exhibited to the police, during
a DUI, when he shattered said object and sneered, "There goes the
Or to Frances Farmer's apology, when in
court for disorderly conduct, which amounted to more of the same and the
confession she spiked her morning orange juice with vodka and what of it.
To Eddie Murphy's response to his multiple
offences in his stand-up movies Delirious and Raw, which was, effectively, a
more fierce emphasis on his original claims?
What happened to coldly unregenerate stars
of every stripe, including professional baseball's legendary misanthrope Ty
Cobb, who simply sharpened his cleats in preparation for worse infractions,
because, regardless of his gross misconduct, he believed in himself, however
terrible he was?
While a certified rage ball like Alec
Baldwin once would have put contracts out on whoever squealed about his private
conversation with his daughter, we now have the dubious privilege of watching
this unconscionable monster confide, fatuously, in the ladies of The View about
how moved he has been by abused children writing to his website.
It may not be moral to refuse apology and
explanation, particularly in one's private life. But in public, and as part of
a trend, the compulsion to confess only exacerbates the matter because the
public is not a priest, and because celebrity bad behaviour's only legitimacy
is derived from a certain carelessness that precludes regret and is predicated
on absolute audacity.
Warriors, fighters and powerful men and
women do not apologize because, in doing so, they are admitting a tactical
weakness and fragility that they cannot afford. Mean
racist comics and sloppy kissers are not artists of war, but one might better
respect them for not adding insult to injury by explaining the inexplicable.
When bitch-and-ho rap was at its height,
Snoop Dogg made the parlous error of explaining, earnestly, his view of women
(in Spin magazine) as being the result of his disgust with anxious groupies who
were nothing like his good and decent mother. This sincere and sincerely stupid
logic was uncalled for: He should have just let his desire speak for itself and
bend to the music that made us all lose its message in the urgency of its
Apologies have a considerable precedent in,
say, the calculated artifice of Galileo's recantation, in the elaborate
courtesies deployed by Chaucer as amends for his
But Gere and his fellow squeamish apologists
are such low-calibre versions of genuine iconoclasts that they should merely
apologize to their families and to themselves for
weak and foolish.
In his case, in truth, he should have
insisted on being arrested, if only to draw attention to the speciousness of
Common criminals mechanically apologize,
every day, for injuries and harm they claim not to have meant. If the latest
round of famous self-loathers truly wished to atone, they would do so in
deepest silence and exile.
One wishes that Gere, in defending himself,
had the basic intelligence to gesture to the abundance of highly erotic art on
India's most sacred temples.
Instead, his folding like a fan and
capitulating only opened the floodgates for more of the kind of creepy excuses
that act as codas to already repulsive acts.
A true star, such as, say, Alan Thicke, does
not bother telling us why his wife looks more like his granddaughter, if his
granddaughter worked at Hooters.
Thicke just sits there, like an object
lesson in what money and fame can afford. And explains, in doing so, how much
it would cost us to enquire further. -
GLOBE & MAIL by Lynn Crosbie on 1 May 2007