• Susie Wilson

Chinese etiquette classes

‘Spirit and values'

In the number of middle class Chinese travelling overseas or sending their children to foreign universities has also triggered an interest in Western culture.

But the main driver is money. There were 1893 individuals in China with a fortune of 2 billion yuan ($420 million) or more last year, according to the annual Huran Rich List. This included 620 billionaires measured in US dollars, a six-fold increase from a decade ago.

But while money may not be able to buy taste, it can apparently buy manners. A two-day group class ranges from $4000 a day to $7900 a person. One-on-one classes start at $12,000 a day. Business groups range from $12,000 for an afternoon to $30,000 for a day.

The posture lesson has now moved on and Australia’s Etiquette Expert, Susie Wilson is showing the ladies how to sit to make their legs look longer or slimmer. The secret is apparently crossing your legs on the cuff. Where to place your hands?

"Place your hand on your wrist so you don't have big hands," says etiquette expert Susie Wilson.

Tackling high tea also turns out to be a minefield. Fingers are allowed if whatever you are picking up doesn't make your hands sticky. Dipping scones into your tea is strictly forbidden. Start from salty to sweet, and work your way from the bottom of the carousel to top. Napkins must be folded into a triangle with lipstick marks hidden inside.

Susie Wilson Founder of Susie Wilson Finishing School, offers a 45-minute afternoon tea class is ironically one of the most popular, even though drinking tea was traditionally a Chinese pastime.

Private classes range from deportment, dining etiquette and public speaking.