Do’s And Don’ts While Volunteering In China


China is known for its progressive development and constant modernization. But the country still holds its cultural roots intact, and follows its age-old traditions religiously. While volunteering in China, one can have a wholesome and exciting sojourn by simply following few cultural nuances in order to avoid hurting the sentiments of local people; unintentionally! Volunteering solutions guides you to what to do and what not when in China; check out:





1.   When meeting a group of people, do greet the oldest member first before anyone.

2.   Do use your both hands to present a gift when visiting someone. This signifies good gesture.

3.   Do accept the offer of eating/drinking when your host orders something. It’s rude to refuse straight up.

4.   People in China loves to be on time and respects people who are punctual.

5.   Do consult your physician before traveling to China to volunteer.

6.   Do ask for permission before clicking anyone’s picture.

7.   Do learn few local words to gel quickly with your project participants and people you meet during your stay.

8.   Do use the official title to address someone, and start with their family name first followed by the given name.

9.   Provide your right hand for a handshake when offered by someone. Handshake is the most adopted way of greeting people.

10. Whenever in doubt about something, just observe the people around you and do what the locals are doing. Alternatively, you can consult your local coordinator as well.



1.   Do not leave rice served to you in the bowl. In Chinese culture, it is considered bad luck to leave rice in the bowl. Eat it all!

2.   Do not open a gift, presented to you by someone, immediately. Wait, at least till you reach back home.

3.   Do not tap the bowl with your chopsticks.

4.   Do not touch anyone’s head.

5.   According to the old Chinese adage, ‘giving a clock’ sounds pretty much like ‘attending a funeral’, and ‘giving a book’ is akin to ‘delivering defeat’. Do not gift Clocks or Books as a present to anyone.

6.   Do not feel offended if asked about your marital status and age.

7.   Avoid discussing about anything that is related to politics.

8.   Do not use a red ink to write anything. In China, characters in red symbolizes protest/criticism.

9.   Avoid too much public display of affection when exploring the streets. It is looked down upon.

10. When in a monastery, make sure you do not walk in front of the person praying to the Buddha. Go from behind or wait for him to finish.


China is quite an intriguing nation with amazing history and vibrant lifestyle. A simple follow up of these tips can help you make the most of your volunteering in China. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with our program advisors NOW at [email protected], and book your slot at the earliest.

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