Thursday, February 5, 2015

Han Dynasty Etiquette for Chinese Women and Girls

The Han Dynasty, from 206 BC – 220 AD 

Instruction for Chinese Women and Girls, 
by Lady Tsao

All girls, everywhere, Should learn woman's work. When women guests are expected, You should the chairs arrange in order. Let your own dress be neat and suitable.
Slowly and lightly walk ; Move not your hands about ; And let your voice be gentle and low. With such deportment, Invite your guests to enter: Present your salutations, Inquiring after their welfare since last you met.

In conversation with them, Talk not at random. When they questions ask, Do not imitate those who only regard themselves, And show no respect to others. Such receive few guests. Because they know not politeness. As a guest, demand nothing ; As a hostess, exhaust hospitality. 

When you go to a friend's house, Be not eager to receive attentions. Having exchanged greetings and taken tea, Immediately your business then make known, This finished, at once rise to go. Observing all courtesy in departing. 

If the hostess prevails upon you to longer stay, And a feast for you prepares, Remember the wine to only raise to your lips. Your chopsticks, place not on the table crossed. But use them with propriety and graceThe filling your cup with wine continually refuse. Follow not your desires, just to eat, eat ! 

Imitate not those rude women, Who with confusion eat, drink, and talk ; Drinking wine until crazy. They shamefully vomit their food ; In this state going home. Before reaching their house. Many shameful, rude acts will they do.

Outside of your house you should seldom go. Nor into the street for pleasure. If persons unknown you meet, Your head and eyes quickly lower.

Do not imitate stupid women, Who gad about from house to house. These speak many idle words, And cause others evil to speak of them. Such may not escape reproof, Their families by them are injured, Their parents greatly dishonored. Still another class imitate not, Those whose deeds are so evil, That they are shameful, fearful, And disreputable !

The Han Dynasty was one of the Longest of China's Major Dynasties