As Taiwan and the UK have quite different histories and culture, we have some fairly different social customs, especially when it comes to meeting people, and dining. Take a look at the 8 cultural etiquette tips, which will help you to blend in when visiting the UK.

1. Handshakes

When men meet for the first time (particularly in a business setting) they greet each with other with a firm, short handshake.

A common faux-pas is to give a limp hand shake and hold it too long. Western people are not used to this, so keep it short and firm. 

2. Hugs and kisses

When greeting a member of the opposite sex who you know well (friend or colleague) you may be greeted with a hug or kiss on the cheek. This is quite normal.

If you are unsure whether to do it or not, let the other person initiate.

3. Using the phone

It is generally considered impolite to use cell phones in cafes or restaurants, particularly when you have company.

4. Going for a drink

If someone invites you to ‘go for a drink’, this usually means going to the pub, not to get drunk, but to socialise and chat with other people. It’s a common social activity. If you don’t drink alcohol, then people usually order an orange juice or sparking water.

*A pub, not a club, is similar to a cafe, but with wine and beer.

5. How much do you earn? 

This is not considered a polite small talk question, unless you know the person very well!

Instead you can say “what kind of work do you do?”

6. Are you married? 

Also not a polite small talk question if you don’t know the person well. If you really want to ask a personal question like this, then ask in an indirect way: “Do you mind if I ask…”

7. Eating and speaking

It is generally considered rude to eat with your mouth open and to speak while you are eating.

8. Cheers!                                                                                                                      

When having a drink, we might say cheers before we have the first sip, BUT, unlike in Asia, we don’t say ‘cheers’ each time we drink. Usually just once, at the beginning.