Table manners are quite complicated. Yes, we do understand not to lick our fingers and chew with an open mouth, but beyond that we are clueless. Thanks to the informal and casual dining culture, table manners are nearly forgotten. But even if we stick to the basics, there are table manners across different countries that may be completely different than what we have at our home.
Before, you plan your international holiday, you need to know these or be prepared to be ridiculed.
1. The tradition in Western Europe is, the host or hostess takes the first bite unless he or she instructs otherwise.
2. The fork is held in the left hand and the knife held with the right. The knife must never enter the mouth or be licked.
3. It is a strict rule that food should always be chewed with the mouth closed and talking with each other while eating is considered to be rude.
4. If your mobile rings or you receive a message, you are not allowed to receive the call. If you feel it is urgent, leave the room and take the call.
5. When having soup, the spoon should be in your right hand and not left. The soup spoon should never be put into the mouth, and soup should be sipped from the side of the spoon, not the end.
1. In formal settings, the host requests the guest to start the meals. Similarly, one should not leave the table before the host or the eldest person finishes his or her food. It is also considered impolite to leave the table without asking for the host’s or the elder’s permission. Normally whoever completes first will wait for others and after everybody has finished, all leave the table.
2. Eating at a moderate pace is important, if you are eating too slowly it may be considered you are not liking the food.
3. You are not allowed burp, slurp, or spit while eating. If you are staring at another's plates it is also considered rude. However, you are also not allowed to make sounds of chewing and if it has to be, you need to close your mouth and chew at a moderate pace.
4. You should use your right hand to eat and you should wash your hands before and after your meals. Cleaning with a cloth or paper tissue may be considered unhygienic.
1. If someone offers the last bite of the food, it is considered rude to refuse the offer. Leaving a single bit of food on the plate is also considered to be rude.
2. It is considered rude and unhygienic to use his or her own chopsticks to pick up food from communal plates and bowls when such utensils are present.
3. You are not allowed to play with chopsticks or part them in any way.
4. When everyone is seated, tea should always be offered to the eldest person in the house followed by rest other members.
1. Food and drinks are always served in descending order, starting with the eldest to the youngest.
2. Usually, diners will have a bowl of soup on the right with a bowl of rice to its left. Alternatively, soup may be served in a single large communal pot to be consumed directly or ladled into individual bowls. Dining utensils will include a pair of chopsticks and a spoon, but rice is generally eaten with the spoon instead of chopsticks.
3. A diner should never serve alcohol to themselves. Likewise, it is considered rude to drink alone.