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Dr. Jennifer Wu Dunn

Jen shenzhen 2sm.jpg

Dr. Jennifer Wu Dunn
Assistant Director,
The China Center



Jennifer Wu Dunn presented us with incite into the Chinese culture including: who is considered the 'core' family, 'maybe' is no, what it means to lose 'face', and the Chinese knowledge and interest in American Popular Culture. She encouraged us to each have a bilingual business card when traveling, as well as, the etiquette on how to exchange. I can't wait to exercise her advice when I travel to China to meet Zhan Xiao Dan!

Jennifer Wu Dunn made us more aware of the particulars of Chinese culture. We learned appropriate etiquette for presenting business cards, sitting down for a meal, and what kinds of gifts to give. I feel better prepared to professionally interact with the Chinese should I have a chance to travel to Beijing.

Although I have myself been to China previous to this class, the insights that Jennifer Wu Dunn shared were new to me and made me aware of how ignorant I was on my first trip. Simple but important details such as the discomfort Chinese have with giving a flat out "no" when you ask them a question or advise would have helped me ratchet down what was probably offensiveness on my part. Ideas of the art of conversation are very different in our two cultures and Jennifer explained them clearly and concisely. Although her experience is more with the corporate world, her advise was widely applicable.

I was impressed with the presentation on Chinese culture Dr. Jennifer Wu Dunn gave us. She covered a lot of topics that I never would have thought of, such as the intricate customs of trading business cards and how important the little things can be. She even had prepared for each of us a double-sided cheat sheet full of great tips on dealing with Chinese culture as an American. She was extremely approachable and we asked lots of questions. After her visit I felt as if I would be prepared to visit China the very next day.

Dr. Dunn gave us some very useful lessons about Chinese culture which she explained is something she usually teaches to business people who were going to conduct business in China. Dr. Dunn's explanation went as far as having the class role play what a Chinese meeting would look and feel like and how there was social hierarchy was paramount to how people are introduced to each other and even their positions at the table to who would get their food first. Dr. Dunn also educated us on other subtlties of Chinese culture such as a Chinese person's "inner social circle" which include the people they would do anything for and that people outside this circle were treated with indifference until friendships were made. Dr. Dunn explained that this sometimes made Chinese people appear very rude to Westerners as they are not what she described "Minnesota nice" when interacting with people outside their inner circle.

It was very helpful to have Jennifer come to speak to us about Chinese culture. I have not been to China and haven't been exposed to much Chinese culture, so there was a lot of new, important information she gave us--I'll definitely feel more confident in communicating with people from Chinese now, whether there or here in Minnesota!

The importance of the first impression.
Differences in social customs, morays and expectations in etiquette.
The similarities and differences in what constitutes respect and rudeness.
Although these things may seem obvious to keep in mind when encountering an individual from a drastically different cultural background, the small, specific difference between American and Chinese social interaction - formal an informal- were completely foreign to me. Dr. Dunn's lecture was very informative on the specifics of how people act and treat each-other in daily life in china. I realize that these customs take a lifetime to learn and Dr. Dunn's presentation provided a solid starting point for my Chinese etiquette education.