Visiting Mei-Ha? A quick guide to the essential do’s and don’ts when visiting!
Exotic! Ancient! Antique! All of these words and more come flooding into your mind when you plan your trip to Mei-Ha. However, there are some important things many visitors forget that cause some trouble and consternation for themselves and their hosts. This isn’t like a jaunt to Caille or Hueromont, the cities of the Jin-Mei are not merely architecturally distinct but culturally too! Luckily Federal Happy Travels has created this quick guide for those planning a trip!
1. Appearances Matter – if you arrive to a Jin-Mei home dressed as you would to pop down to the shops expect a cold-shoulder! How you present yourself reflects the amount of respect you are giving to the house, institution, and their ancestors. Also keep in mind the Jin-Mei are more conservative in dress than many.
2. Don’t talk about death – Never mention it! If you have to offer condolences say ‘passed away’ and remember for the Jin-Mei white is a traditional colour for mourning so keep an eye out for that.
3. Don’t touch people – The Jin-Mei avoid shaking hands, hugs, kisses, and so forth as forms of greeting or goodbyes from strangers or acquaintances. A simple bow is sufficient or a nod of the head. In some parts of Mei-Ha the head is considered particularly private so under no circumstances touch someone on the head.
4. Expect gifts to be refused – It is traditional when a gift is offered for it to be refused several times before being accepted. This is to show that the recipient isn’t being greedy. Similarly you should endeavour to do the same.
5. Introductions – If you are being introduced by someone do not introduce yourself, it is considered the height of rudeness to do so.
6. Chopsticks – Do not point at people with them, and when you are finished they should be laid on top of your bowl – never stand them upright however.
7. Don’t assume yes means yes – This is one of the hardest ones to understand as it requires reading between the lines and looking for the nuance. A Jin-Mei will try to avoid losing face in public and so will often say maybe or I’ll look into it, when they are meaning no. However, if you try to make them say no explicitly you will only look pushy.
8. Respect seniors – As someone outside Jin-Mei society where you fit is difficult to say, in general most visitors are treated as if they were Saan Go. So show respect and be on your best behaviour with those who are your seniors in caste or age.
9. Avoid using first names – In general unless asked to always address a Jin-Mei formally using Mr. or Mrs. as it shows your respect for them. If however you are asked to refer to a Jin-Mei by their ‘courtesy name’ you may use this at any point. DO NOT use a Jin-Mei’s courtesy name unless you’ve been told you can.
10. Avoid tipping – As with many places in the Federation tipping isn’t common however in Jin-Mei cities it is actually considered rude.
These 10 little things will make your visit into the exotic world of Jin-Mei society that much more enjoyable! However, if in doubt don’t be afraid to ask as a Jin-Mei will always be delighted to explain and help you – in fact it is considered rude for them not to!