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Things rich people do: go to finishing school

Middle-aged Chinese women are now paying a small fortune to learn how to peel an orange.

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(Robin Utrecht/Getty Images)

"Things rich people do" is a regular series where GlobalPost reports on how the global 1 percent lives. See the last installment: Things rich people do: build aquarium fences.

In case there was any doubt, China has officially made it. How do we know?

Because middle-aged rich women are now paying $16,000 to attend a 10-day course in which they learn things like how to peel an orange and the correct pronunciation of "Louis Vuitton."

These and other pressing matters are what's on the syllabus at Institute Sarita, the first finishing school of its kind in Beijing.

AFP reports:

Most are women in their 40s whose wealth rose fabulously along with China's breakneck growth in recent decades, says founder Sarah Jane Ho.

Their parents survived traumatic hardships under the late leader Mao Zedong, while their children enjoy privileged lives exposed to Western concepts. And they are caught in a constant culture shock, says Ho.

Although, perhaps the real reason China has made it isn't the existence of an elitist finishing school but rather the fact that the $16,000 it costs is a trivial sum to those who enroll. 

Ho says her students "easily spend three times that amount" to acquire the furs or jewellery introduced in class.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130724/rich-etiquette-finishing-school-beijing-institute-sarita