My husband is a free-lance musician here in Beijing and he got an SMS the other day from a Chinese musician asking “Am I the first Chinese musician you’ll record with?”
We both thought this was a strange question. Not knowing how to reply, we consulted our on-hand-chinese-expert: our ayi (nanny/cleaner).
She said, “You must say, yes! He wants to feel special that he’s the first you’ve worked with.”
We found this such a weird concept. Back in the west, we would automatically say ‘no’, wanting to show and emphasise as much experience as possible.
Is this opposite of ‘saving face’ – ‘creating face’?