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What are the features of Chinese modesty?

Modesty is one of the traditional virtues the great sage Confucius advocated. Although a great scholar, Confucius admonished his students, "When walking in the company of three, there must be one I can learn from". To Confucius modesty and humility are required qualities for a society to sustain itself while pride will lead to destruction.


Traditionally the Chinese people do not like to show a high opinion of their own merits. Instead they are always modest about their achievements, or prefer a low-key statement to a display of their advantages.


The typical example of the modesty is demonstrated by the host to his visitors. He will apologize for the ill-preparation and small quantity of his food, which turns out to be sumptuous banquet.


Another common way to show the Chinese modesty is that the Chinese often politely refuse offers of drinks, refreshments, gifts and other favors two or three times before graciously accepting them. Their modesty requires them not to open the gifts before the sender.


Their modesty requires them not to challenge but to respect, which results in a low profile of Chinese. This is sometimes misunderstood as no ambition or competitive spirit. Their modesty leads them more to group-consciousness rather than to individual-consciousness.


But nowadays some people, especially young and educated Chinese, like to follow the English way and thank admirers for their compliments.

Chinese Culture
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