Foreigners who met with a Chinese partner while living in China, no doubt, eventually found by visiting the hometown of the family for the Chinese New Year. Traditions and customs can be confusing, so it's something like a daunting prospect. everyone's experience will be different depending on where the family and its economic and social environment live, but if you are making decisive trip to the hometown for the first time in the Chinese New Year, take these five tips in mind.

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon 1. Prepare your Hongbao

Before you go anywhere, the most important thing to do is prepare your Hongbao. These small red packets New Year "lucky money" can determine whether the trip is a success or a disaster.

Traditionally, the Chinese adult children prepare a Hongbao to bring back his parents in Chinese New Year. Hongbao is not a gesture token of appreciation, but, in fact, something that many parents have to get through the next few months. Moreover, the size of a Hongbao is a great source of pride for Chinese parents and they often compare themselves as a way to judge the success of their children are. Even within families, siblings are often based on comparison Hongbao gave.

In addition to parents, is also expected to married couples to publicize the unmarried minor Hongbao family members, especially children. These may amount to only a few hundred yuan each, but of a large family that soon add up.

So think carefully about Hongbao before going to the hometown of her partner. Try to find out what waiting for the family, work what you can afford and be aware that what you give will become the reference point is judged against in the coming years. Give as much as you can afford, but do not get carried too! 2. downplaying his Chinese (unless you're fluent)

This may sound a little backwards, but bear with me. In his home country, they are speaking with in-laws can be like walking a tightrope at times. You do not want to offend anyone by accident and do not want to leave your partner in trouble with some casual comment. You never know what can turn against you.

Now, imagine trying to walk the same tightrope, but only has a relatively limited command of the language you are speaking. His vocabulary is probably incomplete, you probably do not know the nuances between different words and may not fully understand some of the questions you are asked. Besides all this, your in-laws come from a completely different culture.

A family talking to your partner, you want to be able to fully understand what is said and being in control of what you're saying. Any misunderstanding could damage relationships and cause problems that go on for years.

So, unless you are very sure you can speak Chinese fluently, it might be wise to pretend his Chinese is worse than it really is. Greetings and courtesy phrases are fine, but try to avoid deep conversations. This way you can protect yourself from saying something offensive, misleading or embarrassing. 3. Be careful what you say about money

Everyone knows the Chinese are not shy about talking about money. Be prepared, because relatives of his Chinese partner may wonder how much earns and expect a straight answer cold, hard numbers.

You may feel the need to be complacent or show what you're earning, but be careful. A simple answer to a question about the salary of an aunt drunk at a dinner can have a lasting impact on your life. The next thing you know, your partner might wonder why only gave so much in his Hongbao. Shortly thereafter, you could even start receiving messages from their relatives to ask for financial help.

Even though you may lose a little face, minimizing their salary is definitely a smart move during a visit to the hometown of the Chinese New Year. This will help reduce Hongbao expectations for the future and reduce the chances of being approached by family members loans or favors. What's more, even a low wage expatriate probably be considered relatively high in China.

It is, of course, may refuse to disclose their full salary. This, however, can sometimes feed rumors within the family that could lead to assume that a ridiculously high amount wins. In my experience, it is better to take control of the conversation and minimize their salary from the beginning. 4. Avoid at all costs baijiu

This is good advice for life in general, but it becomes extremely important during visits to hometown in the Chinese New Year. Once dinner is on the table, not long before Baijiu appears.

Even if you think you can handle rice wine, I can assure you that you can not keep up with the locals. Not only that, the family members of your partner guns to get drunk and probably will pull every trick in the book to make sure you end up under the table.

That's all well and good if you want to have a little fun, but the idea can not be wiser if you want to be in control of yourself and make some impression on the family. If so, politely it insists that you can not drink baijiu and offer to drink beer instead of as a compromise. You may still get drunk, but not anywhere near as severe as it would have been.

If you're really not down to drink at all, you can technically applause tea. It is not going to earn a lot of respect for drinkers in the family, but still perfectly acceptable. 5. Above all, relax and try to enjoy

The above list may leave some readers more worried than before a trip to the hometown of her partner in the Chinese New Year, but do not let scare you too. These are just some helpful tips to consider during your visit, but the most important advice is not to obsess too much about what could happen and try to relax and enjoy the trip.

They see it as an opportunity to explore another part of the country. Check out near the tourist and try the local food attractions. If you happen to be in a small town or village where there is not much to do or see, go out and do some exercise, read a book or catch a day with their correspondences. In such a fast-paced country like China, it is rare to get these lulls.


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