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Sara Jane Ho

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May 25, 2020

Coronavirus Threatens China’s Devotion to Chopsticks and Sharing Food

Sara Jane Ho, a Hong Kong native and founder of a high-end etiquette school in China, said that when she hosts a meal, she often says she has a small cold so she can ask for serving chopsticks to protect everyone else from her. But even then, she said, compliance is not guaranteed.

May 22, 2020

Reforming Chinese Manners, One SGD$23,000 Course At A Time

Mock the redundancy and archaism of finishing schools all you want, but modern etiquette is just what China’s newly baked upper crust needs, and it is Sara Jane Ho’s mission to bring it to them.

January 21, 2020

A portrait of China’s etiquette queen

Sara Jane Ho may have named her business after Alice in Wonderland’s fantasy world, but instead of grinning cats and magic rabbit holes there are lessons in basic etiquette, things like how to peel a piece of fruit, greet your father-in-law and eat tricky foods, a popular module among the nouveau-riche society wives who make up most of Ho’s clientele.

September 29, 2019

China is producing billionaires faster than any other nation

Sara Jane Ho knows all about the possibilities and pressures of being wealthy in China in the fourth episode of a 10-part series, "China: Power and Prosperity." The 33 year-old has been called China's 'Millennial Martha Stewart' and founded the country's first finishing school. Many of her students are second-generation rich, born in the 80s and 90s and born into millions.
May Issue, 2017

Born Elegant: A look inside the French Concession house of Sara Jane Ho

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March 15, 2016

A look inside China’s first finishing school

In a secluded courtyard, a lesson in deportment is under way. Some female students, each one with a book balanced on her head, are attempting to walk a few steps without the book falling off.

January 26, 2016

Hunt for Chinese Etiquette Schools Heats Up as Manners Become Status Symbol

A Swiss finishing school graduate, Hongkonger Sara Jane Ho started up Institute Sarita in Beijing in 2013, partnering with Beijing socialite Rebecca Li. This year they opened a Shanghai campus in a stylishly converted colonial villa.

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November 16, 2015

BBC 100 Women
(30 under 30)

Sara Jane founded Institute Sarita, which runs two etiquette schools in China teaching the importance of manners and best social behavior, especially in the business world. She plans to expand her brand into a lifestyle network. Her hero is her mother who passed away when she was 21.

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January 5, 2015

The Bling Dynasty

Sara Jane is from Hong Kong and attended Exeter, Georgetown, Harvard Business School, and a finishing school in Switzerland upon which the institute is modeled. She is 29 years old and drives a murdered-out little Audi coupe and often wears her hair in a halo of braids. She begins each morning with either a brisk swim at a luxury hotel or horse jumping at a friend’s private stable.

February 10, 2014

World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies: #24 Institute Sarita

Elaborate dining and entertainment have long been part of business culture in China. But the old banquet format–endless toasts, Honghe cigarettes, and rounds of the fiery grain-alcohol baijiu–doesn’t translate for today’s globally minded Chinese entrepreneurs. In 2013, Sara Jane Ho, a Hong Kong native and graduate of both Harvard Business School and a premier Swiss finishing school, opened an etiquette school in Beijing, giving the old-fashioned concept of manners a modern twist. Rather than simply teaching Western-style etiquette, Ho takes an international look at various culture and customs.
May 31, 2013

More Chinese Aim to Learn Western Etiquette

Many have riches; now they want Western manners. First step: Don’t rattle the teacup.

July 31, 2013

China’s Rich Newest Hobby: Polo 马球

Polo clubs are springing up in China. As Sara Jane Ho, founder of etiquette school Institute Sarita tells the Wall Street Journal’s Wei Gu, the killer instinct and quick reactions that successful entrepreneurs apply in the wild business world in China are put to the test on the polo field.

May 31, 2013

Learning to be a perfect lady proves fruitful (cover story)

Most Chinese are familiar with the old saying “Daughters should be brought up in rich surroundings”, but spending 10,000 yuan ($1,630) a day to study etiquette is still beyond many people’s imaginations. At the Institute Sarita finishing school in Beijing, one of the skills students are shown is how to halve oranges elegantly using a knife and fork.

April 8, 2013

Etiquette Catches On in China, Even in Government

To mark International Women’s Day this year, China’s Ministry of Commerce sent a group of employees to finishing school.

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February 22, 2013

Women To Watch In Asia, 2013: Sara Jane Ho

Hong Kong-native Sara Jane Ho graduated from Harvard Business School last year and after an intensive two-month course at a Swiss finishing school moved to Beijing with plans to open her own high-end Institute Sarita, teaching Chinese the finer points of etiquette. Interest in her courses–which range in price from about $3,200 to $16,000–has been explosive, even though advertising has been through word-of-mouth only.

December 22, 2012

School of etiquette plots new cultural revolution (cover story)

Like gunpowder and printing, China had etiquette before most of the rest of us. But Confucius has long been dead and Mao Zedong got rid of what remained, leaving the Chinese with a reputation for having more money than manners. Sara Jane Ho, founder of Beijing’s version of a Swiss finishing school, plans to change that.