We all know that every country adopt different culture, beliefs, tradition, customs, and rules. However, it is one of the beauty of travelling. You get to experience different culture of a place you visit. You may experience culture shock but there are many things to take lesson from. The experience may last for a lifetime. One of the most common cultural differences between countries is table manner. People around the world may have different culture when it comes to eating and you can find them out to be more prepared before travelling abroad.
Things you should and should not do when eating abroad
When you visit Chile, the rule of table manner is still considered old-fashioned. You should not eat without a fork. Eating using your bare hands is considered unruly behavior. The custom is that you eat with both spoon and fork for any type of foods. Even if it is finger foods, you will always be served with some cutlery you should use.
Meanwhile, you should not eat with a fork in Thailand. It is the opposite of the custom in Chile indeed. In Thailand, the locals don’t put fork int heir mouth when eating. They use fork only to put the food on a spoon. Rice-based foods fall in this category. For other foods, using fork might be acceptable. However, it still depends on circumstances. To play safe, it is better to not use fork when you eat in Thailand. Also, the locals don’t use knives for eating at all. Fork and spoon are the only cutlery to use.
In China, you should not finish your entire meal. Instead, leave some food on your plate to show that the chef generously provided you to the point you could not finish it. This is quite unique because in some countries, wiping your plate clean can also use as appreciation to the chef that you enjoy the meal heartily.
In Italy, it is not common to cut up your pasta. In fact, it is considered offensive for the locals. Their way to enjoy pasta is by twirling the strands against the side of the plate using a fork. Even using a spoon is still considered offensive or for some people it is not the right way to enjoy pasta.
In Japan, it is not allowed to pass foods using chopstick. It is considered taboo due to their customs coming from the Buddhist belief. Also, you should not put your chopstick upright in your rice bowl. It is a practice Japanese use during funerals. Then, you are not allowed to lick foods from your chopsticks. When you don’t use them, do not cross them. Instead, put them in the designated holder if available.
In Philippines, you are not allowed to eat with your left hand. It is considered impolite and offensive. Put your left hand off the table when eating. If you want to pass the foods, use your right hand. This rule is also applied in Muslim countries since they consider it as unclean.