Friday, September 12, 2008

Table manners

We talk about food, food culture and also some other useful or interesting things related to them here in the blog. Today, our topic is – table manners, one of the most important food cultures.

As a visitor or guest in either a home or restaurant you will find that table manners are essential and the distinctive courtesies displayed will invariably add to the enjoyment of your meals and keep you in high spirits. It is really an admirable custom to respect others at the table.

Firstly, let’s talk about the table manners of China.

China lies in the east of Asia, famous for its abundance and exquisite, Chinese food culture has occupied an important part in the nation's tradition cultures. Chinese people stress filial piety. The practice of and presenting the best or fine food first to the senior members of the family has been observed for countless generations. There is also a strictly requirement of arranging the order of the seats in formal occasions. Before starting to eat dinner, the host may offer some words of greeting. Guests should not start to eat before that, otherwise it suggests disrespect and causes displeasure.

Secondly, we take a look at some special Japanese table rules.

Nowadays, Japan is a more and more popular modern tourist city. People who are interested in travelling may feel helpful to know the food culture there. In Japan, you say ‘itadakimasu’ (means ‘I will start to eat’) before eating, and "gochisosama" (means‘Thank you for the meal’) after finishing the meal. We can easily hear these words in Japanese teleplay which seems as basic proprieties. It is considered good manners to empty your dishes to the last grain of rice. After eating, try to move all your dishes back to the same position they were at the start of the meal.

After focusing on two asian countries, thirdly, we concentrate on western country.
Britain is famous for Gentlemanliness, they advocate proprieties and appearance. When it comes to table manners, several points you need to pay more attention to. For instance, putting the hands below the table is considered as disrespect. It means even something falling onto the floor, do not pick it up during the meal. When you have meal together with Britisher, try your best to avoid making noise of tableware. Smoking during the eating time is also disrespectful either.

In above paragraphs, we focused on showing some table manners according to our experiences and the information we collected. These are just a few distinctive table manners we picked out and coordinated to share with everybody. If there are something wrong or inaccurate, any criticism or suggestion is welcome, and again, please let us know your opinion after reading the article. Thank you ^_^~


FAN said...

Interesting & useful blog...hope we can have more info about FOOD in the near future here! Such as the food story about famous local food in the countries. Maybe can start from some famous food in China? such as Guo Qiao Mi Xian...he he

xuexin said...

I think it would be better if u introduce the table manners in different nations with different underlying social and cultural settings more specifically:)

ys said...

well i'd like to add sth i know about the table manner in China. in China the dishes are placed on the table and everybody shares. If you are being treated by a Chinese host, be prepared for a tone of food. Chinese are very proud of their culture of food and will do their best to give you a taste of many different types of cuisine. Among friends, they will just order enough for the people there. If they are taking somebody out for dinner and the relationship is polite to semi-polite, then they will usually order one more dish than the number of guests (e.g. 4 people 5 dishes). If it is a business diner or a formal occasion, there is likely to be a huge amount of food that will be impossible to finish.

Gao Shuang said...

to fan:

thank u for ur support~ we will add some more information in future topics. Guo Qiao Mi Xian is really very delicous and famous, I would like to introduce it to others, or maybe can u either;)

Gao Shuang said...

to xuexin:

welcome~~~ thank u for ur suggestion, i m sure that people can understand and accept differet table manners easier by knowing more about the culture.

Gao Shuang said...

to ys:

thank u so much for sharing other useful table manners in China here~~~

Yes, it seems chinese hosts always order more dishes than the number of the guests, it may be a custom, i also think it is becoz they r hospitable enough :)

Phyo Han Kyaw said...

I like Chinese foods. Especially Dimsum. If you have some information about Dimsum plz post it.

Gao Shuang said...

what is Dimsum? I dont know that, may be the name in ur language? If somebody knows, pls tell me, I really wanna know:P

Wang Ting said...

Haha, I'll share some information about Dim Sum.
Dim sum is the name for a Chinese cuisine which involves a wide range of light dishes served alongside Chinese tea. It is usually served in the mornings until noon time at Chinese restaurants and at specialty dim sum eateries where typical dishes are available throughout the day. Dishes come in small portions and may include meat, seafood, and vegetables, as well as desserts and fruit. The items are usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. Yum cha (literally "tea drinking") is the term used to describe the dining session, especially in contemporary Cantonese. Chinese families in particular typically like to gather at Chinese restaurants for dim sum on occasions such as Mother’s Day or Chinese New Years.
And for rich people in the old days, having Dim Sum in the morning, seen as a upper-class lifestyle, was a typical way to kill their time.