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There are plenty of cultural differences between China and Britain. Some are small, some bigger and some just utterly confusing.

Never share a pear for example. In Mandarin ‘sharing a pear’ sounds very similar to ‘to separate’ – which means you should do your pear eating alone!

The number 4 ( 四 sì) is sometimes avoided in China as it sounds like ‘to die’ in Mandarin. Often buildings will skip the 4th floor entirely!

But 8, or 八, sounds like wealth and is super popular for phone numbers and licence plates.

 

There’s also some rules about gift giving.

Clocks are a terrible present as they symbolise ‘running out of time’.

Mirrors apparently attract ghosts (who knew).

Shoes (or 鞋 xié) are a rubbish present for Chinese New Year as they sound suspiciously similar to the Mandarin for ‘evil’ (邪 xié).

So, unless you’re looking to make a terrible impression hold off giving the four mirrors you’ve bought to your new Chinese friends.

It’s probably not the best first impression.