Around the world, people gather to eat lunch or dinner. Every culture has developed this social ritual in different ways, so today there are certain rules that need to be respected while eating – for example, how to use utensils (knife, fork, spoon) correctly or when to ask to be served. We call them dining or table manners.
These rules differ from one culture to another, so what is considered to be polite in one society can be seen as very rude somewhere else!
When in France, you might be advised to always rest your wrists or forearms (but not elbows) on the table while you are not using utensils to eat. Keeping your hands under the table where nobody can see them is considered a bad dining manner.
In many other countries in Europe and North America, "hands on the table" is one of the basic dining rules, particularly reiterated to children. Why is that? Some people suggest this tradition started because people were afraid of what other people might be doing under the table, like holding a weapon.
If you find yourself in Spain during the summer, you will notice that many shops are closed in the early afternoon, even on a regular work day. The reason they are closed is siesta, a short nap people take after lunch.
The word siesta, meaning "nap" in Spanish, derives from the Latin word sexta, meaning the sixth hour (counting from the dawn), which explains why siesta is usually taken around noon.
This particular dining ritual can be explained by the very high temperatures during the summer, and the great amount of food a typical midday meal in Spain includes. These two together make people very sleepy, so they made it a nation-wide acceptable habit to take a break from work in the middle of the day and get some rest.
While in most European cultures making any noise while drinking or chewing is considered to be very rude, in places like Japan and China those who slurp their soups have good dining manners.
In other words, slurping your soup or noodles very loudly sends a message to the chef or the host that the food is delicious. The more loudly you slurp it, the more appreciation for the meal you show. If by any chance you forget to do it, the cook could be very offended or hurt thinking that you did not enjoy their meal!
Traditionally, Ethiopian food is eaten with hands, usually from a large communal plate. Several delicious meals are put together in a plate with some injera, a flat Ethiopian bread, and the guests sit around it.
The proper way to eat Ethiopian food is to tear off a piece of the bread, grab some food that is close to you with it, and put it in your mouth. Because you are touching the food with your hands, make sure that you always wash them before and after the meal. The left hand is considered unclean, so it is advisable and polite to only use your right hand to eat.
Italian cuisine is known for using a great variety of cheese in large quantities. Italian pizzas and pastas are particularly rich in cheese. In an Italian restaurant anywhere in the world, the parmesan cheese might even be freshly grated in front of you on your plate.
However, unless cheese is offered to you, you should not ask for extra cheese for a dish like pizza which already has a lot of cheese. Such an act is considered to be an insult to the cook, so most waiters will simply refuse to bring more cheese.
Another cheese-related rule in Italy applies to seafood – adding cheese to a seafood pasta is unimaginable according to traditional dining manners, so it is best you avoid it.
1. B | 2. A | 3. A | 4. C | 5. B | 6. B | 7. A | 8. C | 9. A | 10. B | 11. C | 12. B | 13. C | 14. A | 15. B | 16. A | 17. C | 18. B | 19. B | 20. A |21. B | 22. A | 23. B | 24. A