History,Food,Table Manners

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Table manners are the rules of etiquette used while eating, which may also include the appropriate use of utensils. (Tableware or Table Appointments includes the dishes, serving pieces, glassware, and silverware, flatware and cutlery (knives, forks, spoons, chopsticks and other utensils) used to set a table for eating a meal. The nature, variety, and number of objects varies from culture to culture and may vary from meal to meal.)Different cultures observe different rules for table manners. Each family or group sets its own standards for how strictly these rules are to be enforced.


*Food is generally expected to be eaten with the right hand. It is fine to use left hand to pass the dishes.
*It is acceptable, and many times, even expected, not to use cutlery for eating, as many foods—such as Indian breads and curry—are commonly eaten in this manner.
*Wash hands thoroughly before sitting at the table as some Indian foods are primarily eaten by hand. Also, wash hands after eating the food. Usually, a finger bowl (with luke warm water and lemon) is served to each person for rinsing fingers.
*In North India, when eating curry, the sauce must not be allowed to stain the fingers—only the fingertips are used.
*When flat breads such as chapati, roti, or naan are served with the meal, it is acceptable and expected to use pieces of them to gather food and sop-up sauces and curries.
*In South India, it is acceptable to use the hand up to the second segment of the fingers (middle phalanx till the interphalangeal joint) and the first segment of the thumb (distal phalanx) to pick up food. In South Indian culture, the four fingers are used only to pick up or spoon the food. The thumb is the digit used to push the meal into the mouth. It is considered rude if all five digits are used to place food into the mouth.
*It is considered inappropriate to use your fingers to share food from someone else's plate once you have started using your own. Instead, ask for a clean spoon to transfer the food from the common dish to your plate.
*It is not necessary to taste each and every dish prepared, but you must finish everything on your plate as it is considered respectful. For that reason, put only as much food on your plate as you can eat.
*As most of the Indian delicacies are eaten with the hands, it is necessary to make sure that one's drinking glass should not become messy.
*Do not leave the table until others have finished or the host requests you. If you must, ask permission from the host before leaving.
*South Indian meals are served on a banana leaf that has been cleaned with warm water. Vegetables are placed on the top half of the leaf, and rice, sweets, and snacks on the other half.
*Indians always wash both hands and legs before entering into their house and before eating.


*In Indonesia, foods are served in communal plates and every person scoop rice and other foods from this communal plates to his own plate.
*Never use your own spoon (that you use to scoop foods into your mouth) to take foods from the communal plates.
*Avoid taking foods from communal plates excessively, it is considered impolite and greedy.
*Do not talk or laugh when there is food in your mouth; it is considered rude.
*Do not use the left hand to eat or to pick foods. It is considered impolite because left hand is used in the toilets.
*Do not eat before the host permit you.
*Always let the elders or the most senior person take foods and eat first.
*It is generally impolite to left food on your plate uneaten, especially the rice; however in certain areas it is considered polite to have a little food left, otherwise it is considered greedy.
*It is generally considered rude to make sound or noise during eating.
*Avoid eating too rapidly and too much as it is considered greedy. Reject offers politely.
*Do not slurp your soup or your drink.
*It is considered polite to "ask permission" to elders before you start eating.
*Do not return food that you've taken to your own plate to the communal plates.
*It is still considered polite to eat or take foods with your hand (use only right hand) in some cultures, or when cutlery is not provided, or to eat foods that have bones in it, dry/baked/fried foods that are round, stick or rectangular in shape.
*Always rinse your hands before eating.
*Do not make sounds while eating, either when chewing food or by knocking your plate.
*Do not point to somebody or something with your spoon or fork.


*Never place chopsticks stuck vertically into a bowl of food, as this is the traditional presentation form for an offering to one's ancestors.
*One should wait for the host or hostess to tell you to eat three times before eating.
*Accepted practice in helping oneself to a communal dish such as a salad, is to reverse the chopsticks. However this is regarded in an all male, or casual situation, as too formal and additionally, a female habit.
*Women should cup their other hand beneath their serving when using chopsticks to convey food from dish/bowl to mouth. Men should not do this.
*In communal dining or drinking, the youngest person present should pour alcohol for the other members of the party, serving the most senior person first. The server should not pour their own drink, rather they should place the bottle of sake, beer, wine or spirits, back on the table or bar, and wait to be served by a senior. The receiver of the drink should hold up their glass/cup whilst the drink is being poured.
*One should always clean one's hands (but not face) before dining with the hot steamed towel provided.
*Japanese soup is eaten holding the bowl to one's mouth, never with a spoon. The exceptions to this are o-zoni, the traditional soup served on New Year's Day; soups with noodles are served in larger bowls, such as ramen, are acceptable to eat using chopsticks, although the soup itself is still consumed from bowl to mouth.
*If something might drip onto the table while being transferred in the chopsticks, use the bowl of rice in your other hand to catch the liquid. It is important to not allow this liquid to remain, and so the discolored portion of the rice must be eaten. Rice (in a bowl) should remain white if it was served as such.
*It is usually polite to finish all sections of a meal served at around the same time. It is suggested that one should take a bite from one container, and then take a bite of rice. One should then take a bite from another container, have another bite of rice, and so forth.
*It is perfectly acceptable, and rather encouraged to make a slurping noise when eating hot noodles such as udon, ramen or soba. This is standard behavior in Japan, and Japanese maintain that inhaling air when eating hot noodles improves the flavor. One should not, however make any noise when eating soup.
*When taking a break from eating during a meal, one should place one's chopsticks on the chopstick rest (hashi-oki) provided. A hashi-oki is usually a ceramic rectangle about four centimeters long, or in some restaurants, a halved wine cork is provided.
*It is acceptable to cradle one's rice bowl in one hand when eating.
*One should not gesture using chopsticks.
*Never pass food from one pair of chopsticks to another. This technique is used only in Japanese Buddhist funerary rites when transferring cremated bones into an urn.
*When pouring wine or beer, the hand holding the bottle should pour forward, not backward (over the back of the hand) which is considered an insult.
*In traditional restaurants, one needs to sit in seiza, on less formal occasions sitting is also done in tailors style (Indian style) or with two legs together on one side (females-only)
*There is no tipping in Japanese restaurants.


*In Brazil, the host asks guests to help themselves.
*One should not pick up too much so that the plate cannot be completely finished. If food is left on the plate, it gives a bad impression.
*Hands are washed every time before going to table.
*Wipe your mouth when you have a drink, and never drink from the bottle.
*Cutlery is always used, even for pizza.


*The head of the household, usually the father, or the guest of honor is usually seated at the head of the table.
*Place your napkin on your lap and use it to dab your mouth. Never blow your nose on it.
*Dishes should be served from the left, and taken away from the right. Unless the food is placed on your plate at the table, then it should arrive from the left.
*It is good education, but not an obligation, to serve food to guests first
*Do not start eating before the host does or instructs guests to do so. At meals with a very large number of people, it is acceptable to start eating once others have been served.
*Never use your hands to take food, unless eating foods customarily eaten as such, such as bread, asparagus spears. Only use your fingers in an informal dinner if you want to eat chicken wings, pizza, empanadas (typical food), etc.
*When eating bread rolls, break off a piece before buttering. Use your knife only to butter the bread, not to cut it.
*You must not put your elbows on the table.
*If pouring a drink for yourself, offer to pour a drink for your neighbors before serving yourself.
*It is considered rude to answer the telephone at the table. If you need to take an urgent call, excuse yourself and go outside
*Always excuse yourself if you need to leave the table.
*Never lean across somebody else's plate. If you need something to be passed, ask the person closest to it. If you have to pass something, only pass it if you are closest to it and pass it directly to them if you can.
*Try to not take food from a neighbor's plate and don't ask to do so.
*When chewing food, maintain your mouth closed and only talk after you have swallowed it. Eating or talking with one's mouth full is frown upon, and if it is very necessary, discuss with one hand in front of the mouth (to avoid food getting out), and only short sentences.
*Do not slurp your food or eat loudly.
*Never pick food out of your teeth with your fingernails or your cutlers
*Try to eat everything on the plate; leaving some food is considered wasteful.
*Never transfer food to your mouth with your knife.
*It is not advisable to seek a second course, unless it is offered.
*There should be no negative comments about the food, unless it is needed (like: "This food is too salty").
*Burping, farting, coughing, yawning, or sneezing at the table should be avoided. If you do so, say, "Excuse me".
*When you have finished eating soup from a bowl or larger "soup plate", the spoon should be placed on the flat plate beneath, if one is present.
*The fork, if no knife is available, may be used to slice foods.
*Avoid taking to your mouth pieces larger than you can eat. *Thanks to the chef are very welcome (if he/she is at the table), but not mandatory if not.


Table manners follow most of the European standards, although there are some implications with regard to typical dishes or local traditions.
*Leftover Ceviche lemon juice can be poured into a glass following consumption of the fish pieces. This accepted practice is called the "drinking of the tiger's milk".
*Don't stretch after a meal.


*Remember always to say "please" and "thank you".
*French bread is always torn off rather than cut. Do not dip it into soup or sauce.
*Do not place your elbows on the table
*Finish everything on your plate before taking more.
*Do not put ice in your wine. At restaurants, wine should be served at the optimal temperature.
*After you have finished eating, place the cutlery parallel, vertically at the center of your plate so the waiter will know to take away your plate. While you are still eating your meal, place the cutlery to the sides of your plate at four o'clock and eight o'clock, opposite sides of the plate, signifying to the waiter that you wish to keep your plate.
*Lift your forearm from the table while moving the fork to your mouth.


*In Switzerland you are expected to appear on time if invited to a dinner party.
*When toasting in Switzerland, hold up your glass and look each person in the eyes before drinking.
*If you are served cheese as a wheel, it should be cut from the center into slices (as you would slice a pie).
*Aways keep both hands on the table while eating, do not have one hand under the table even if you are not using it.
(A toast is a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression of honor or goodwill. The term may be applied to the person or thing so honored, the drink taken, or the verbal expression accompanying the drink. Thus, a person could be "the toast of the evening," for whom someone "proposes a toast" to congratulate and for whom a third person "toasts" in agreement. The ritual forms the basis of the literary and performance genre, of which Mark Twain's "To the Babies" is a well-known example. The toast as described here is rooted in Western culture, but certain cultures outside that sphere have their own traditions in which consuming a drink is connected with ideas of celebration and honor. While the physical and verbal ritual of the toast may be elaborate and formal, merely raising one's glass towards someone or something and then drinking is essentially a toast as well, the message being one of goodwill towards the person or thing indicated.)


*It is polite to leave a little food at the end of the meal to show the host that the hospitality was plentiful and appreciated. In addition, the host will often urge the guests to second helpings of food.
*It is improper to look into another's plate or saucer.
*Remember to say "That was good" to the one who made the dish upon leaving the table.
*Small food should not be cut.
*No elbows on the table.
*No unpleasant noises.
*In general, one should not be stuffy or overly ceremonial. Especially if the meal is in someone's home, conviviality and relaxation outrank propriety. A guest is expected to contribute to the fun of the party.
*Do not talk with food in your mouth.

United Kingdom

*Table manners of the United Kingdom are pretty much the same as in Russia.
*The fork is held in your left hand and the knife is held in your right when used at the same time. Hands should be kept close to the plate for cutting and scooping food; this should not be done in mid-air. It is bad manners to gesticulate with your knife and fork, and they should be put down when you reach for your glass, etc.
*You should hold your knife with the handle in your palm and your fork in the other hand with the tines (prongs) pointing downwards.
*Food should be cut "one piece at a time" directly prior to eating, and then consumed. You should not "carve up" multiple pieces and then proceed to eat them.
*If you're eating a dessert, your fork (if you have one) should be held in the left hand and the spoon in the right.
*When eating soup, you should hold your spoon in your right hand and tip the bowl away from you, scooping the soup in movements away from yourself. The soup spoon should never be put into the mouth, and soup should be sipped from the side of the spoon, not the end.
*It is not acceptable to use your fingers to push food onto your fork, nor to handle most food items. Some foods such as fruit, bread, sandwiches or burgers may be eaten using fingers, and fingers are mandatory for eating some items, such as asparagus spears, which are traditionally served with sauce on the side for dipping.
*If there are a number of knives or forks, start from the outside set working your way in as each course is served.
*Drinks should always be to the right of the plate with the bread plate to the left.
*When eating bread rolls, break off a piece before buttering. Use your knife only to butter the bread, not to cut it.
*Do not start eating before the host does or instructs guests to do so. At meals with a very large number of people, it is acceptable to start eating once others have been served.
*When finished, place the knife and fork together at four o'clock with your fork on the left (tines facing down) and knife on the right, with the knife blade facing in. This signals that one has finished. "Together" is the important part; nobody will check with a protractor which angle your knife and fork are at.
*The napkin should never be crumpled. Nor should it be folded neatly as that would suggest that your host might plan to use it again without washing it—just leave it neatly but loosely on the table to the left of the plate.
*Never blow your nose on your napkin. Place it on your lap and use it to dab your mouth if you make a mess.
*It is considered rude to answer the telephone at the table. If you need to take an urgent call, excuse yourself and go outside.
*Always ask for permission from the host and excuse yourself if you need to leave the table. You should place your napkin on your seat until you return. It was historically considered common courtesy for all gentlemen at the table to stand when a lady arrives or leaves the table but in modern times this is no longer common.
*If you must leave the table or are resting, your fork should be at eight o'clock tines (prongs) pointing downwards and your knife at four o'clock (with the blade inwards). Once an item of cutlery has been used, it should not touch the table again.
*Food should be brought to your mouth on the back of the fork.
*Dishes should be served from the left, and taken away from the right. Unless the food is placed on your plate at the table, then it should arrive from the right.
*Drinks should be served from the right.
*Never lean across somebody else's plate. If you need something to be passed, ask the person closest to it. If you have to pass something, only pass it if you are closest to it and pass it directly to them if you can.
*Salt and pepper shakers should be passed together.
*Do not take food from a neighbor's plate and don't ask to do so unless it is an interesting new dish and you would like a small taste.
*You must not put your elbows on the table.
*If pouring a drink for yourself, offer to pour a drink for your neighbors before serving yourself.
*If extra food is on the table, ask others if they would like it before taking it yourself. If the answer is no, it is normal to still only take half the remaining food, until the point where one would have to actually cut the pieces of food in the serving dish to divide them in half.
*When chewing food, close your mouth and only talk after you have swallowed it.
*Swallow all food before eating more or drinking.
*Do not slurp your food or eat loudly.
*Never pick food out of your teeth with your fingernails.
*Try to eat all the food you are served.
*Wine glasses should be held by the stem in the case of white wines, and by cupping the bowl in the case of red wines.
*If port is served after the meal, then the decanter should be passed to the person on your left and never passed to the right.
*Never transfer food to your mouth with your knife, and never put your knife in your mouth or lick the blade.

United States of America

Table setting
*Bread or salad plates are to the left of the main plate, beverage glasses are to the right. If small bread knives are present, lay them across the bread plate with the handle pointing to the right.
*A table cloth extending 10–15 inches past the edge of the table should be used for formal dinners, while placemats may be used for breakfast, luncheon, and informal suppers.
*Modern etiquette provides the smallest numbers and types of utensils necessary for dining. Only utensils which are to be used for the planned meal should be set. Even if needed, hosts should not have more than three utensils on either side of the plate before a meal. If extra utensils are needed, they may be brought to the table along with later courses.
*If a salad course is served early in the meal, the salad fork should be further from the main course fork, both set on the left. If a soup is served, the spoon is set on the right, further from the plate than the knife. Dessert utensils, a small (such as salad) fork and tea spoon should be placed above the main plate horizontally (bowl of spoon facing left, the fork below with tines facing right), or more formally brought with the dessert. For convenience, restaurants and banquet halls may not adhere to these rules, instead setting a uniform complement of utensils at each seat.
*If a wine glass and a water glass are set, the wine glass is on the right directly above the knife. The water glass is to the left of the wine glass at a 45-degree angle, closer to the diner.
*Glasses designed for certain types of wine may be set if available. If only one type of glass is available, it is considered correct regardless of the type of wine provided.
*Hosts should always provide cloth napkins to guests. When paper napkins are provided, they should be treated the same as cloth napkins, and therefore should not be balled up or torn. Napkin rings are only used for napkins which will be used repeatedly by members of the household, and therefore should never be used with a guest's napkin as they only receive freshly laundered ones. Napkins may be set on the plate, or to the left of the forks.
*Coffee or tea cups are placed to the right of the table setting, or above the setting to the right if space is limited. The cup's handle should be pointing right.
*Candlesticks, even if not lit, should not be on the table while dining during daylight hours.

Before dining
*Men's and unisex hats should never be worn at the table. Ladies' hats may be worn during the day if visiting others.
*Before sitting down to a formal meal, gentlemen stand behind their chairs until the women are seated.
*A prayer or "blessing" may be customary in some households, and the guests may join in or be respectfully silent. Most prayers are made by the host before the meal is eaten. Hosts should not practice an extended religious ritual in front of invited guests who have different beliefs.
*One does not start eating until:
a) every person is served or
b) those who have not been served request that you begin without waiting.
At more formal occasions all diners should be served at the same time and will wait until the hostess or host lifts a fork or spoon before beginning.
*Napkins are placed in the lap. At more formal occasions diners will wait to place their napkins on their laps until the host places his or her napkin on his or her lap.
*When eating very messy foods, such as barbecued ribs or crab, in an informal setting, where it must be eaten with the fingers and could cause flying food particles, a "bib" or napkin tucked into the collar may be used by adults. Wet wipes or ample paper napkins should be provided to clean the hands. In formal settings, bibs or napkins used as such are improper, and food should be prepared by the chef so that it may be eaten properly with the provided utensils.
*Even if one has dietary restrictions, it is inappropriate for non-relatives to request food other than that which is being served by the host at a private function.
General manners while dining
*When a dish is offered from a serving dish (a.k.a. family style), as is the traditional manner, the food may be passed around or served by a host or staff. If passed, you should pass on the serving dish to the next person in the same direction as the other dishes are being passed. Place the serving dish on your left, take some, and pass to the person next to you.
*You should consider how much is on the serving dish and not take more than a proportional amount so that everyone may have some. If you do not care for any of the dish, pass it to the next person without comment. If being served by a single person, the server should request if the guest would like any of the dish. The guest may say "Yes, please", or "No, thank you".
*When serving, serve from the left and pick up the dish from the right. Beverages, however, are to be both served as well as removed from the right-hand side.
*Dip your soup spoon away from you into the soup. Eat soup noiselessly, from the side of the spoon. When there is a small amount left, you may lift the front end of the dish slightly with your free hand to enable collection of more soup with your spoon.
*If you are having difficulty getting food onto your fork, use a small piece of bread or your knife to assist. Never use your fingers.
*You may thank or converse with the staff, but it is not necessary, especially if engaged in conversation with others.
*It is typically acceptable in the United States not to accept all offerings, and to not finish all the food on your plate. No one should ask why another doesn't want any of a dish or why he has not finished a serving.
*There should be no negative comments about the food nor of the offerings available.
*Say "Excuse me", or "Excuse me. I'll be right back", before leaving the table. Do not state that you are going to the restroom.
*Do not talk excessively loudly. Give others equal opportunities for conversation.
*Refrain from blowing your nose at the table. Excuse yourself from the table if you must do so.
*Burping, coughing, yawning, sneezing, or flatulence at the table should be avoided. If you do so, say, "Excuse me".
*Never slouch or tilt back while seated in your chair.
*Do not "play with" your food or utensils. Never wave or point silverware.
*You may rest forearms or hands on the table, but not elbows.
*Do not talk on your phone or "text" at the table, or otherwise do something distracting, such as read or listen to a personal music player. Unless you are alone, reading at the table is permitted only at breakfast. If an urgent matter arises, apologize, excuse yourself, and step away from the table so your conversation does not disturb the others.
*If food must be removed from the mouth for some reason, it should be done using the same method which was used to bring the food to the mouth, i.e. by hand, by fork, etc., with the exception of fish bones, which are removed from the mouth between the fingers.
*Before asking for additional helpings, always finish the serving on your plate first.
*Gentlemen should stand when a lady leaves or rejoins the table in formal social settings.
Using utensils
*The fork is used to convey solid food to the mouth. Do not use your fingers unless eating foods customarily eaten as such, such as bread, asparagus spears, chicken wings, pizza, etc.
*Do not make unnecessary noises with utensils.
*The fork may be used either in the "American" style (use the fork in your left hand while cutting; switch to right hand to pick up and eat a piece; this is common practice in the US) or the European "Continental" style (fork always in left hand).
*Unless a knife stand is provided, the knife should be placed on the edge of your plate when not in use and should face inward.
*When you have finished eating soup from a bowl or larger "soup plate", the spoon should be placed on the flat plate beneath, if one is present.
*As courses are served, use your silverware from the outside moving inward toward the main plate. Dessert utensils are either above the main plate or served with dessert.
At the end of the meal
*When you have finished your meal, place all utensils at four o'clock with any forks or spoons pointed face up and any knives blade-side-in, to show that you are finished. Do not place used utensils on the table—once a utensil has been used, it must not touch the table again.
*Except in a public restaurant, do not ask to take some uneaten food or leftovers home, and never do so when attending a formal dinner. A host may suggest that extra food be taken by the guests, but should not insist.
*Do not leave the napkin on the seat of your chair, even if leaving temporarily. A dirty napkin is not be placed on a chair seat, which may mar the upholstery. Similarly, one does not again use a napkin that has been on the seat of a chair where one has sat. When you leave the table at the end of the meal, loosely place the used napkin on the table to the left of your plate.




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