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You can’t travel the world and expect people to behave the same at the dinner table. So we decided to create a quick guide to help and to make people fluent in dining etiquette around the world.
SLURRRRRPPPPP! Everyone who, as a kid, learned that slurping your food was bad can shake their US manners in Japan as slurping is acceptable and encouraged. Many believe it is an appropriate sign the person eating is really enjoying the meal.
Want to know what an angry Italian chef looks like? Ask for extra cheese. Unless it is offered, asking for more parm is considered a big no-no. This might be heartbreaking news to many people, but we promise there will be things on the menu to satisfy all of you parmesan, pecorino, and mozzarella dreams.
Drinking from a Coke can may be OK in the US, but in Brazil, it is going to get you some confused glares. Better save sipping wine straight from the bottle for the privacy of home.
In perhaps one of the most stereotypical French facts ever, bread is more than an appetizer because it is considered a utensil also. Often times people will use traditional utensils to simply guide food onto bread for ultimate consumption.
India is mostly a “eat with your hands” culture, BUT be sure to only eat with your right hand. Eating with your left is very rude. This is a pretty common rule in parts of the Middle East and Africa also.
Don’t expect to be able to wipe your hands after a meal in Morocco as napkins have never caught on. Instead, a water basin is passed around the table for folks to clean their hands.
South Korea takes respecting their elders seriously. At a formal South Korean meal, it is considered disrespectful to take a bite of food before the eldest person does.
Ready for a new superstition? According to Chinese culture, it is considered a bad omen to take your chopsticks and sink them vertically into a bowl of rice. It is said to disturb the memories of the deceased.
In Ethiopia using a plate never happens and is even considered to be a waste. Here, people gather around a communal dish and everyone shares and eats the food closest to them. This is a common practice in other African nations as well; countries like Ghana and Senegal.
Russians consider it most polite to leave wrists resting on the edge of the table when people are not actively eating. While elbows on the table are considered to be rude in most parts of the world, Russians also frown upon leaving your hands on your lap.
Similar to Italy’s fact, asking for salt and pepper in Portugal is insulting to the chef. At nice meals, it is also considered good manners to keep your napkin on the left of your plate rather than in your lap.