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Eating No-no

http://www.chinese.cn 11:09, November 22, 2010 Xinhua News Agency

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"A Chinese dinner host will not expect a visitor to know all the traditions associated with a Chinese meal. But the visitor who knows some of them will gain 'face' and give 'face' to his host!" Here are some basic rules that we suggest you follow:

Eating No-no
Eating No-no

1. First of all- Where to sit? No you cannot randomly go pick the best seat, right next to a friend of your host. There is a specific order to where you can sit.

2. The host sits nearest to the door. The guest of honor sits opposite. Other honorary guests sit to the left of the guest of honor.

3. In China, people tend to eat together. And sometimes the Chinese host uses their chopsticks to put food in your bowl or plate. This is a sign of politeness. The appropriate thing to do would be to eat the whatever-it-is and say how yummy it is. If you feel uncomfortable with this, you can just say a polite thank you and leave the food there.

4. Don’t eat a whole course; just sample everything on your plate. There will be a lot of courses.

5. Don’t eat everything on your plate, or your host may misunderstand that you haven’t have enough food. Instead leave a little bit of food on your plate.

6. Never pour your own drink first. Instead make a toast, about business or friendship. Pour everyone a drink, leave no one out, or it will seem as if you forgot them.

7. Don’t take the last piece of food on the platter, as it will seem as you’re greedy.

8. It is impolite if the index finger points to others while holding chopsticks.

9. Don’t take your chopstick and turn them into forks by poking into the food. You must use the chopstick to pick up the piece.

10. If you pick up a piece with a chopstick and drop it, don’t attempt to pick up another piece instead, keep on trying.

11. Don’t start playing drum with your chopsticks by tapping on your bowl with them. Beggars tap on their bowls, so this is not polite.

12. Don’t use the chopsticks as tooth picks, or suck on them.

13. Never stick your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl, since that usually is done at a funeral and is deemed extremely impolite to the host and seniors present.

14. Make sure the spout of the teapot is not facing anyone. The spout should always be directed to where nobody is sitting, usually just outward from the table.

15. Never try to turn a fish over and de-bone it yourself, since the separation of the fish skeleton from the lower half of the flesh will usually be performed by the host or a waiter. Superstitious people think bad luck will ensue and a fishing boat will capsize if you do so.

 

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