China is a country with 5000-years-long civilization and a long and rich history, so Chinese like to pay more attention to the etiquette, especially in the table manners. Most foreigners do not know table manners when they join in Chinese dinner party because Western dining is different with Chinese. Chinese table manners have three important parts, including place setting, taboos, and toast. Firstly, the seating arrangement is one of the important parts of dinning etiquette because the order of seating symbolizes the power, and status, the highest status which in the center facing east or facing the entrance. Furthermore, elders, leaders and hosts always sit on the highest status, while children, subordinate staff and other participant’ seating near the entrance. The second important consideration is table taboos.
Most foreigners know chopsticks are the main table utensils in China, but they do not know more strict rules about how to use and set the chopsticks. For example, people should avoid sticking chopsticks straight down into the rice bowl. The reason for this is that Chinese use the incense to stick into a bowl of sand or rice to mourn dead, therefore, the behavior that puts the chopsticks stick into the rice looks like a funeral ritual. Thirdly, everyone must participate in a toast. Chinese often use the right hand to hold the body of glass and the left hand to hold the bottom of glass. Another allowable behavior is many people to propose a toast together to one person, but one person should not propose a toast to many people at a time. Therefore, foreigners joining a Chinese dinner party should consider and follow these rules as respect differences.
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Topic: Table Manners in China
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