When in China, Do as the Chinese Do–Table Manner

by editor02 2018-12-14

Table manners play an important role in the Chinese people's entire life. They believe that dining is not only a way to meet basic physiological needs. It is also a top priority of social experience. For this reason, it is particularly important to master some of the Chinese rules. Whether you are the host or just a guest, you had better master some rules.

  • The Meaning of the Round Table

Round dining table is popular. Because more people can be seated, and everyone can sit face to face and share the dishes equally. Guests should wait for the host’s invitation to sit down. The host needs to take care not to ask the guest to sit in the serving place.

You must wait until everyone is there to start any form of meal - even if someone is late. Once everyone is in place, the host can make an opening statement. During the meal, the host usually assumes an active role. It is perfectly reasonable to urge the guests to eat and drink.

  • The Exhibition of the Eating Tool

A typical Chinese dining table looks quite empty. A bowl on the plate can be seen in front of each seat; on the right is a set of chopsticks and spoons placed on their respective seats. On formal occasions, napkins will appear, mainly on the lap.

At the official banquet, the dishes are eaten like a slide show, one dish at a time. Surprisingly, rice is not the same as the dish, but you can choose to eat it. Because the dishes have their own characteristics, they should be tasted individually, and only one type is eaten from the bowl at a time, not a mixed taste. Don’t use plates to eat, only use bowls. Because mostly the plates are used to put bones and shells.

  • The Rules of Using Chopsticks

Except the soup, Chinese people uses chopsticks to eat all the food on the table. Chopsticks are an important tool for eating, so don't play with chopsticks. It’s very rude to use them as drumsticks. You should not use chopsticks to point or gesticulate. Of course, you can’t suck chopsticks or insert chopsticks into rice. This is a big taboo, like incenses at a funeral, which is considered unlucky. In addition, chopsticks can't be flipped in a dish, you should first look at the food you want. When you use chopsticks to get a piece of food avoiding other foods. If possible, use the side chopsticks and spoon to assist you. After eating or taking the food, put the chopsticks back into original place. Don’t put them on your bowl.

  • Some Key Notes About Tea

The person who seats the teapot recently should be responsible for tea for others and themselves. The order is according to the age, from the eldest to the youngest, and finally to yourself. When people tea for you, they should tap the table with their index finger and middle finger during the ceremony. This is a thank-you and respect to the tea drinkers.


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