Food culture in china
As a country that pays great attention to courtesy, our cuisine culture is deep rooted in China's history. As a visitor or guest in either a Chinese home or restaurant you will find that table manners are essential and the distinctive courtesies displayed will invariably add to the enjoyment of your meals and keep you in high spirits!
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It is really an admirable custom to respect others at the table, including the aged, teachers and guests while taking good care of children.
Chinese people stress filial piety all the time. The practice of presenting the best or fine food first to the senior members of the family has been observed for countless generations. In ancient times the common people led a needy life but they still tried their best to support the elder mother or father who took it for granted.
Although the hosts in China are all friendly and hospitable, you should also show them respect. Before starting to eat dinner, the host may offer some words of greeting. Guests should not start to eat until the host says, 'Please enjoy yourself' or something like that, otherwise it suggests disrespect and causes displeasure.
When hosts place dishes on the table, they will arrange the main courses at the center with the supporting dishes evenly placed around them. When the main dishes are prepared in a decorative form either by cut or other means they will be placed facing the major guests and elder people at the table. This also embodies virtue.
The Chopstick is a miracle among the creations of Chinese food culture. This utensil helps the dinner to really relish his or her food. The use of chopsticks with ease will add to the enjoyment of the delicacies. How to use them maybe a problem and here are our suggestions that may be helpful:
First, hold the upper stick like a pen with your thumb and middle finger. Second, take the lower one with the thumb and set it on the ring finger. Finally, try to move the two sticks and pick up your favorite dish.
It is considerately convenient to have noodles with chopsticks. Then you can wind noodle threads lightly but firmly, to avoid splattering soup or sauces in the bowl. For the first time, be some may slide off the sticks, but the slight lapses are inevitable and practice makes perfect. After practice you will become adept at picking up all sorts of morsels from plates.
When the dishes are positioned on the table, usually the first to help them selves should be the hosts or the elderly. Do not take too much once, or return your food to the plate. Try to avoid the collision of chopsticks with those of your neighbors since they are longer than forks or knives.
Do not drum or tap bowls and plates with chopsticks especially when you are a guest, because people believe that is the humble behavior of beggars when they beg for food.
Never insert chopsticks upright onto the vessels for food, as this will be viewed as an evil presage and will sustain the disapproval of the seniors. The reason is that, it is the unique way to show the esteem and care for the dead. Long ago it was a tradition in China to worship their ancestors with offerings of food. However, in consideration that the dead could not use chopsticks smoothly, the living had to use them at an upright angle.
Avoid sucking the end of a chopstick or keeping it in mouth for a long time. Never point at someone with a chopstick and do not use it to prick food in order to pick it up. These are also regarded as impolite and irreverent.
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