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Macau Social Customs & Etiquettes

Chinese culture emphasizes family integrity, lineage solidarity, reserved public behaviour toward the powerful, and respect for parents and elder persons (that is, filial piety, or xiao). These values are also largely maintained in Macau's urban culture. The Portuguese and the Macanese form relatively cohesive sub-societies of Catholics with their distinct values and preferences.

Macanese are general friendly to foreigners; given the fact that Macau had hundreds of years of Portuguese colonial rule, the locals even the older population are used to live side by side with Westerners. However, don't assume the locals speak English (or Portuguese) and a few essential Cantonese phrases are always helpful.

When visiting Chinese temples basic respect should be shown, but taking photos is usually allowed and you don't need to ask for permission as long as there isn't a no-photography sign posted.

Entertaining generally takes place in restaurants and public places. It is rare to be invited to a private home, unless the person is wealthy. Spirits are standard gifts in return for hospitality. Apart from the most formal occasions in restaurants and nightclubs, casual wear is acceptable.





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