Right from when a child is born, he or she is taught the ways of life from how to walk, talk, eat, deal with other people and the likes.
Eating etiquette is one of the important ones to learn as it tells a lot about an individual and where they are from.
Here are the different food etiquette from around the world that you should know about.
Always leave food on your plate in China
In the US and many other Western countries, we’re taught that it’s rude to leave food on your plate because it somehow indicates you didn’t enjoy your meal. That’s not so in China.
Finishing your plate when dining at someone’s home in China suggests the food wasn’t filling enough, and that your host was skimping on the portion size. Always leave behind a little food to show the host that their meal was filling and satisfying.
Don’t say “thank you” in India
One of the first etiquette lessons many of us learn as children can be thrown out the window in India. Saying “thank you” to just about everyone — from the gas station attendant to the restaurant waiter to our closest friends — is commonplace in Western culture, but in India, it can actually be insulting.
“Thank you” is reserved solely for formal occasions. In more common, casual settings, thanking someone implies that they’ve gone out of their way for you, awkwardly calling attention to acts of kindness that are just assumed.
Slurp your noodles in Japan
In Japan, slurping your noodles signifies that you are enjoying your meal.
In addition to being a signal of respect, slurping is also believed to improve the flavor of noodles and allows you to enjoy hot food more quickly.
Coating the noodles in saliva cools them down, meaning you don’t have to wait as long before you can dive in. So, if you’re in Japan, there’s no need to delicately twirl your noodles on a spoon or cut them into fragments. Slurp away!
Never salt your food in Egypt
It’s a common habit to grab the salt and pepper and add a little extra flavor to your food. Salt is so ubiquitous that we think nothing of adding a dash here and there, and we certainly mean no insult by it. In Egypt, it’s a completely different story.
Salting your food in Egypt is considered a huge insult, and when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The chef prepares your food to taste a certain way. When you add your own spices, it effectively changes the flavor, implying the dish was inadequate as presented.
If there aren’t already salt and pepper shakers on your table at a restaurant, don’t ask for them. The same goes — perhaps even more so — for dining in someone’s home.
The oldest person takes the first bite in South Korea
In the US, it’s rude to start eating until everyone has been served their food. This can be agonizing if one person’s meal is taking forever while our dish stares at us all hot and tantalizing.
In South Korea, no one is permitted to take a bite until the oldest person has started eating — a custom that’s viewed as a sign of great respect. It’s also polite to wait for the oldest person to sit down before taking your own seat.
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