5 Chinese Philosophies on Sara Jane Ho’s Netflix Special

In November 2022, Netflix rolled out a new TV series titled Mind Your Manners. Hosted by Hong Konger Sara Jane Ho, the program has a similar premise as the hit TV series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, where the host helps to improve areas of her clients’ lives.

In Mind Your Manners, we get a glimpse of the Millennial’s unique job: The etiquette coach takes several students under her wing and educates them on manners and poise, among other things.

— Sara Jane Ho,  etiquette coach

“What I bring is an East meets West perspective, because I think that both cultures need to better understand each other. And both cultures need to better express themselves to each other.”

Ho’s methods are unique, as she often leans on Chinese philosophies, as we’ll see in the ensuing slides.

Mind Your Manners is a light introduction to the ancient Chinese practice known as fengshui, which revolves around balancing one’s Qi or life force. Ho strongly advises two of her students on the TV show to rid their homes of dead flowers and a slightly disturbing model of a dog’s skeleton, as she believes that anything related to death is draining.

Fengshui 风水


In one of the episodes, the Chinese educator enrolls a student who complains of chronic sluggishness in a class with taichi master Lina He. The soft style of martial arts, which involves slow, controlled movements, helps the student get her energy levels up and increases her focus.

Taichi 太极


Many extol the virtues of the Chinese diet, and Ho is one such champion. In an episode of Mind Your Manners, she suggests swapping coffee for tea for more sustained energy levels. She also recommends eating congee over pasta if given a choice, as the former has higher water content and less starch.

Nutrition 营养


In one episode of the program, Ho initially has trouble getting a Chinese American student to open up to her. So she turns to mahjong, a Chinese tile-based game that encourages bonding and sharing. As the minutes slide by, the student lets her guard down and opens up her heart to the educator.

Mahjong 麻将


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