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Paperback, 96 pages 178 x 110mm, £6.99
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The Chinese

By Zhu Song

What makes the Chinese CHINESE: A guide to understanding the Chinese which reorients Western views of their culture and characteristics.

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  To be lazy and idle is unacceptable and anti-Confucian. The Chinese must always be seen to be doing something.  


  • ‘Hilarious because it’s (mostly) accurate! I bought this book while I was living in Hong Kong, and I read it again and again often to and from work while on public transport. I would look around me at the people surrounding me and then chuckle. It just described Chinese society in such a way that you found it hilarious and informative at the same time.’                             Reviewer from Sydney, Oz

  • ‘Spot on. Short, funny, accurate and an insight into the ‘essential’ character of the target group. Good preparation for anybody thinking of living amongst this remarkable set of people.’
    Reviewer from Singapore

  • ‘Excellent and useful. I highly recommend this book for people going to China. It is informative and interesting, and, as well, I am told by my girlfriend who has lived in China for many years, that it fits very well with how the Chinese actually are.’        Reviewer from Denmark

  • ‘This guide just described Chinese society in such a way that you both found it hilarious and informative at the same time.  Unfortunately I’ve now lost my copy because I lent it to a Chinese friend who found it so funny and interesting, that she’s never given it back.’                 Reviewed by Jonathan from Australia

  • ‘This book was a really helpful shortcut into beginning to understand Chinese culture and even discovering a few useful phrases of Mandarin along the way.’                Reviewed by Peter F

If you would like to comment or submit a review on the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Chinese please do so in the box to the right.


Links to make you laugh

These Chinese jokes should put a smile on your face!

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Funny Chinese Proverbs

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How to tell Chinese, Koreans and Japanese apart




About the author

With a first name meaning bamboo, Zhu Song cannot be more poetically Chinese. Although she has spent most of her life in various barbaric lands, she can frequently be found clad in silk sipping tea from fine porcelain. What others think of as decadence is only her birthright after all.

Despite having been educated (like all Chinese) to within an inch of her life, she shows little interest (unlike the Chinese) in following one of the favoured professions, much to the chagrin of her grandmother. However all is not lost – she may yet produce offspring who will.

There are three phrases she dislikes: ‘Where are you from?’, ‘Why, you speak perfect English!’, and ‘You’re so lucky to be able to speak Chinese.’ Her responses are ‘How much time do you have?’, ‘Why yes, I speak it better than you’, and ‘That’s because I am Chinese. Fancy that.’ The Chinese expect rusty Mandarin, the English an Asian accent, and the Americans an American twang. She routinely confounds them all.