'Face' Culture in China
You Can't Save Face If You Never Had It
By Greg Rodgers. One famous quote of many by American civil rights activist Maya Angelou finishes with: " Causing someone to "lose face"—even if done on accident with good intentions—can lead to poor interactions. First-time travelers in Asia often end up perplexed after witnessing inexplicable, what-just-happened scenarios. For instance, sometimes letting someone be wrong is just better than pointing out they are wrong. Causing someone public embarrassment in any form is an unforgivable no-no.
The Cult of “Face” in China
They think that it is not easy to understand. People say that during the Qing Dynasty foreigners would go to the Zongli Yamen [the Foreign Ministry of imperial China] when they wanted to put forward requests. If their demands were rejected, they would threaten Qing officials, who would then get scared and comply at once. A netizen asked on Zhidao Baidu a website similar to Yahoo! Answers :.
Nearly half of the girls can sing English songs and the competition is just as intense as the US or UK versions…. Westerners will notice that a disproportionate amount of time of the three-hour show is spent with mutual emotional consoling by the singers, hosts and judges. In fact, to protect against the shame of being eliminated, the show spends more time focusing on the losers rather than the winners! Similarly, many ex-pats in China—as well as other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore—can tell you stories of how their local friend suddenly stopped talking to them probably because they somehow caused them to lose face. For instance, an American subordinate attending a meeting where his boss is presenting would generally think nothing of raising a question, making an alternate suggestion, or even disagreeing in front of others.