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I will shortly be hosting a female Chinese guest in my home for two days (I’m an Airbnb-er). She is travelling with her daughter, who is studying here in the UK and speaks very good English, so I don’t anticipate too many language communication difficulties. However, I have little experience of Chinese culture and I don’t want to inadvertently offend or otherwise fail to meet expectations.

Are there any special preparations I should make beyond the usual (sparkling clean accommodation, complimentary water/refreshments in the room etc) or considerations when interacting with my guests? I’d like my guest to go home with a good impression of the UK and its people!

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    Comment: Stocking some good tea won't harm! – B.Liu Feb 14 at 12:10
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    If her daughter has been studying outside of China, they are likely sufficiently well off economically to have learned that there are cultural differences and be a bit more tolerant than a subsistence farmer from the mountains might be. Otherwise, it would take a whole book to know all the ways a seemingly neutral object to us could symbolize something very good or very bad to them. – WGroleau Feb 14 at 19:30
  • You might want to prepare some tools to boil water water as many Chinese people like to drink warm/hot water (I don't understand this business at all, but that's how it is). – xuq01 Feb 14 at 19:38
  • Maybe get an electric kettle or something. I find it very useful even if you don't have the habit of drinking hot water (for making tea, cup noodles, or sometimes for cooking). – xuq01 Feb 14 at 19:40
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Chinese are people, they have as many differences as any people.

What you mention as what you already do seems great. If you do not usually stock green tea, you might want to buy some, but that is about it.

The best impression is being a friendly host, willing to talk (even if you may need the daughter to help with translating) will be enough.

If you want to give your Chinese guests the tea they are used to, I would suggest asking the daughter for advice. I think your local shops are not likely to have the tea they are used to, although they might have some they can be happy with, but with her living in the UK she might know which brands will be acceptable. Or she can bring their own.
(But on the other hand, if you have a few different kinds of tea, you might not have what they expect, you will certainly show hospitality and willingness to be open to their culture.)

  • Go shopping with her if you want to buy green tea: most Western green tea labeled "green tea" is unpalatable swill. – jpatokal Feb 14 at 20:27

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