China has been a terrific trip so far! We have explored the Great Wall, enjoyed dishes that include jellyfish and pig intestines, scuba dived with whales and met with so many amazing people.
During my first five speeches here I have learned three things you should avoid before, during and after you speak in China!
1) Never sign in red ink – In the United States I sign all of my books with a red Sharpie. Here in China, that is considered bad luck to write in red. Whoops! Luckily someone had a black one near by I could use!
2) Never give a gift wrapped in white – Gift giving and exchanging is common here and Chelsea and I wanted to make sure we brought gifts from Oregon to those who have helped us during our trip. Well, white is a symbol of death here so never wrap your gifts in white paper. Use gold, red or a vibrant color.
3) Never use four when making a point – Four is unlucky as well because the word for “death” in Chinese sounds like “four.” So if you are speaking and have four stories, or four points, or four takeaways, consider making it three, six or eight! (Although I think eight would be too many, eight is a very lucky number in China).
Avoid these three things when speaking and traveling in China and you will make a lasting impression. For those of you who have been to China or spoken in China, what are other things we should avoid? Remember to keep making things happen and as always…
P.S. I still have no access to Facebook, Twitter and any social media while I am here (I get back on November 12th).