International Questions and Answers #3 ~Unusual Table Manners

Hello, and welcome to the third part of international questions! Here people from eight different cultures answer one question each week. You’re in for an interesting post! Enjoy! 

Question 3: What is a significant/interesting table manner in your country? 

Me (Japan): I already explained this in my post on “3 Differences” between American and Japanese culture, but there is a very interesting table manner in Japan. That is, there is a rule not to put both or one hand down on your lap during a meal. You must always have both hands on the table, whether the fingers are just gripping the side of the table, gripping a utensil, or just laying your hands on the side of the table. The reason for this has to do with samurais. Are you curious? Then I suggest you read the post where I talk all about it. 

Eliana Duran (America): Hmmm. Nobody follows this anymore, but there is the “no elbows on the table” rule. There are other rules, too, but we don’t take them very seriously at most meals, and a lot of what we eat is eaten with our hands anyway–sandwiches, hamburgers, pizza, french fries, hotdogs, etc.

Trudy Francis (Australia): I wouldn’t say we have any table manners that are too unusual. We do eat with our hands a lot, especially for gatherings of any size, where it’s standard to have a barbeque and just have sausages served in a slice of bread (or a sausage sizzle, as we call it).

Abigail Blessing (Malaysia): During some meals, we eat rice and other food with our hands. We have a water basin present at the table to wash our hands with when we’re finished.

Aiden Bisagni (Uganda): No talking. In Uganda, it is considered rude to talk during the meal unless completely necessary.

Fe Batoon (Philippines): We have a custom called kamayan. It’s where we only use our hands to eat our food – no utensils. On picnics, we use large banana leaves instead of plates.  We usually use kamayan for eating dried foods like rice and milkfish. Well, we eat rice with all meals, but we don’t do kamayan when we eat wet or messy foods, obviously xD. 

Rebekah O’Donovan (Ireland): Mmm. I can’t really think of any, besides popping in for a cuppa, which basically means just a friendly visit without an invitation to see how your neighbors are doing and to have a drink (generally tea) with them. 

Cara Devereux (Scotland): As far as I’m aware there’s nothing in particular, though if we’re toasting someone or something, we say “sláinte,” which is just Gaelic for “health”. A lot of people would say this even if they don’t speak Gaelic. The other one our family uses is “Here’s tae us, wau’s like us? Fair few and they’re aw deid.” (Here’s to us, who’s like us? Very few and they’re all dead.) 

I hope you enjoyed that! What is an interesting table manners in your country? Drop a comment down below, because I love talking to people. 

Stay tuned for Week 4 of International Questions and Answers!

2 thoughts on “International Questions and Answers #3 ~Unusual Table Manners

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