Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Table manner at a Chinese meal

I was having dinner at a Japanese restaurant with my husband and some Chinese friends over the weekend. We were trying out different types of sushi and I was trying to get a piece of big sushi roll from a plate that just arrived. The sushi pieces were slightly stacked and the ones on my side happened to be at the bottom. It took me a while before I could get a piece out without touching the other pieces or breaking them. My husband was asking why didn't I just take the top piece from across the other side of the plate.

Here comes the cultural difference: Chinese do not take the piece that is easiest. We have to take the piece that is closest to us.

We also pour tea for everybody else at the table first before pouring tea into our own tea cup. If you only pour for yourself, that is considered rude and self-centered.

There are lots to learn and to be aware of in terms of cultural differences, but once you get a hang of it, it is fun!

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