I'm here in China, teaching English to 5th and 6th graders. They have never seen or heard a banjo before, They also have no particular association with it (Hee Haw), so are not judgemental. They prefer it to the guitar, because it is different, louder, and is played with a different rhythym. THe advantage of this is that I can play any song and they think it's great. I brought to China thinking that I would play it myself, but found myself playing and singing "Peach Picking Time in Georgia" over the bus P.A. system to CHinese travelers on the way here( Luoyang in Henan Province from Beijing), and I haven't been able to let it rest much since. I am the furthest from good player, but this is one situation where virtuosity doesn't matter. So my advice is to take your banjo along if you are going to Asia and be ready to play. I've had to struggle through some songs that Chinese people really like that I don't -Edelweiss, My Heart will go On, Rocky MOuntain HIgh- but they are very appreciative.
Seth from China