Sunday, November 07, 2004

"Take the Chinese word mianzi, for example. Having no other word to use, we call this "face," and it represents, very roughly, the inner dignity that is possessed by every human, which all others dealing with its possessor are duty bound to uphold, and neither to threaten nor to challenge. Shout an insult at a Chinese shopkeeper and you make him lose face, you threaten his mianzi, and you commit the most cardinal of sins. Buy your Chinese colleague the most expensive cognac imaginable and you give him face, and you will in consequence be blessed for all eternity."(Words Without Borders | Simon Winchester |In Other Words: A Foreword)