Wearing A Green Hat
What’s one holiday the Chinese just don’t understand? St. Patrick’s Day. That’s because wearing a green hat (戴着绿帽 – dài zhé lǜ mào) in China means that your girlfriend or wife is cheating on you.
In January of 2014, a 14-year ban on console gaming was lifted, so Microsoft began preparations to send a crack team to China to sell their Xbox One (http://money.cnn.com/2014/01/08/technology/china-video-games/). Microsoft planned to teach their relocating employees Mandarin. I was lucky enough to be picked up to teach Chinese to one of the individuals and was also able to help catch a grave mistake. My student was the top marketer and had suggested uniforms for the delivery people: black shirts, khakis and green hats. I laughed and told my client to reconsider the hats. After he talked with his Chinese counterparts, he was immediately happy to change the uniforms to a black hat.
In A Word
Wearing a green hat is serious business, people. Here’s another thing Chinese people don’t get:
Have you ever heard of “wearing a green hat” in Chinese before?