When you’re traveling abroad leave your good manners at home because you may not need them. Different countries follow different dining etiquette rules and if you show that you’re familiar with them, people will really appreciate it. Feel confident when visiting Chile, Japan or China and keep in mind these 10 weird dining rules around the world.
#10 India: Don’t touch food with your left hand
Indians prefer not to eat or touch any food with their left hand, because it is considered unclean since they use it in the bathroom… This rule is also observed in parts of Middle East and Africa.
#9 Japan: No tips in restaurants
The tips are usually associated with appreciation of the good food and service, but to the Japanese leaving tips is insulting or demeaning.
#8 China: Don’t flip the fish
If you’re eating a whole fish in China, especially in Hong Kong, don’t flip it after you finish the one side. According to the local superstitions, it’s considered bad luck and the flipping represents the fisherman’s boat capsizing. You can either eat the top side only or remove the bone to get to the bottom.
#7 Chile: Never eat with your hands!
If you’re visiting Chile don’t eat with your hands, because it is considered bad manners. Even hamburger and French fries are eaten with a knife and fork.
#6 Russia: Never say ‘No’ to vodka
Probably drinking vodka is not the first thing you do in the morning. But no matter what time of the day it is, when a Russian offers you vodka – you should drink it. Rejecting it will offense your host and is considered as a sign of rudeness.
#5 Georgia: It’s rude to sip your wine during traditional feast
If you attend a supra (traditional feast) in Georgia, you should keep in mind that wine is drunk only at toasts. So you have to wait for one and if you’re pretty thirsty, you can drink the whole glass at once.
#4 Ethiopia: Don’t wait for an individual plate
Housewives in Ethiopia must be very happy, because they don’t have to wash tons of plates after dinner. Ethiopian families eat from a single large plate and without any utensils. Sharing the food is a family tradition that shows hospitality and builds trust.
#3 Thailand: Don’t eat from a fork
The eating etiquette in Thailand rules that forks are used to put food onto the spoons, from which you eat.
#2 Japan and China: Slurp your noodles
Contrary to the dining etiquette in many countries, loudly slurping noodles or soup is a sign of appreciation to food and the chef and shows that you enjoy your meal.
#1 Italy: Don’t ask for cheese
People outside of Italy eat spaghetti and pasta with many different ingredients and toppings. But asking for Parmesan in Italy is offensive and putting it on a seafood dish is even considered a sin.
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