Opinion – British etiquette courses lure kids of wealthy Shanghai families – People’s Daily Online – John Gelmini

English: Logo of the People's Daily 中文: 人民日报题字

This is an interesting article from the Chinese People’s Daily Online via Dr. Alf who is right to say that Chinese youngsters taking English etiquette courses might have a shock when and if they come to the UK only to discover that much of what they learnt in Shanghai is not practiced by the more feral and troublesome segments of UK society.

The truth is these youngsters will not be sent to mingle with the lower orders but will spend their time with middle-class English families in genteel locations where there is less risk of “contamination” caused by people with loose morals, bad speech, no dress sense an aversion to work and an unfamiliarity with shower gel, good manners, self-discipline, and work.

They will be amongst the 650 million Chinese being taught English and amongst the brightest of those people in that they will be going to one of our blue brick universities like Cambridge where I see them regularly as I visit the bank, attend fraternal gatherings and go about my business.

Good manners, multiculturalism and not getting up until Jeremy Kyle is in full flow and bear baiting mode whipping up his Manchester-based studio audience into a frenzy of approbation at the latest example of a feckless, addicted father dressed in a “onesie”, cutoffs and a T-shirt, displaying massive tattoos on lily white flesh, are the norm for many benefit recipients who live out their lives on Facebook. Thus, Dr.Alf is right to worry about what has become of the UK he once lived and worked in and what this does to our reputation with others.

That said, the antics of such people, the indiscipline of British workers and everything these young Chinese will see and hear will be recorded in one of the standard issue notebooks that the Chinese Government issues to students and young visitors.

The contents of those notebooks includes what one might call “soft fact impressions”.

These are collated and then used to formulate negotiating tactics and inform the process of getting “inside the heads” of Westerners without letting them do the opposite on the same scale.

That then enables the process of buying UK companies and infrastructure to be refined so that long into the future when the youngsters have grown up been to a Chinese and a UK university,they will form a cadre of people ready to run whatever business they are put into without the need for excessive acclimatisation.

John Gelmini

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