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Survey: Social Dining Becoming More Common
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A survey conducted by China Youth Daily was released yesterday which shows that about 70 percent of people questioned think that social dining, or dining with one's business partners or colleagues in order to promote social relations, has become even more common recently than ever before.

14.4 percent of the respondents say the issue hasn't changed much over the past few years, while 10.6 percent of them say such social custom has changed for the better these days.

1,735 people from 31 provinces and regions of China participated in the survey between January 29 and February 26.

In China, people follow the traditional custom of settling everything at the dining table. It seems that if one wants to do something in society, one will have to treat his or her colleagues, bosses, or business partners well at the table.

Such tradition is apparent especially during the Spring Festival holiday. During this and other important holidays, some people are busy arranging dinner parties to expand their social connections, while some try hard to find a proper excuse to turn down such invitations. There are some people who are even sent to hospital for having had a cup too much.

In the survey, 23.1 percent of the people admit that they attend a lot of social gatherings during the Spring Festival holiday and 70.0 percent say they don't have too many social gatherings. Another 6.9 percent of the people find it "hard to say." During non-holiday times, 26.9 percent of the people say their social gatherings are relatively few; 1.4 percent say they never attend any social activities; and 71.7 percent say they have "lots of social gatherings."

When asked which group of people they think will have the most social gatherings, most (82.6 percent) pick "businesspeople or entrepreneurs," 62.4 percent say it is the "public servants" or "people in the entertainment world;" 33.9 percent say it is "media people," 22.1 percent choose "doctors," and 11.9 percent pick "teachers." Only 6.6 percent of the people pick "technicians."

The survey also shows that about half (44.9 percent) of the people think that such custom has taken root in China and it is difficult to change it.

In addition, 46.1 percent of the respondents say that it is a good thing for people to have many social gatherings since they will "provide an opportunity for them to make new friends." 65.2 percent of them think such social activities can bring both positive and negative results, and people should try to control their social gatherings to a moderate degree.
(China News Service March 13, 2007)

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