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Recently someone posted a list of "western" table manners. I was wondering if someone could do the same for Chinese table manners, or just tell me some. I have some questions to get you started.....
1 - I have heard Americans say Chinese people eat like slobs, and I have heard Chinese people say Americans eat like slobs. In both cases these were the reasons: "shoveling food into their mouths", and "eating with their hands". I found that funny, that both say the same thing! Of course their are slobs in every country.
QUESTION #1: In China, what foods are ok to eat with your hands? Please think about all meals, including desserts and snacks. Also think about the situation - in public, at someone's house, etc.
2 - In America, when being polite (maybe not at home) there are small things to do or not do. We put our napkin on our lap. We wait until everyone has been served before eating. We try not to make too much noise while eating, or talk with our mouths full. We are told not to rest our elbows on the table. Are these things true in China? What other ones are there in China?
3 - CHOPSTICKS - I heard there are polite and impolite ways of placing your chopsticks when you're done, or if you put them down briefly. What ways are ok or not ok to place your chopsticks?
4 - What if food is too big, like a big dumpling or bok choy? Is it inappropriate to pick it up with chopsticks and take a bite? Someone told me not to do this.
5 - I've heard of serving food with the big end of chopsticks. What if there's now sauce all over the ends of your chopsticks? Do you just leave it there? Or wipe it off on your napkin?
Some of these may be silly questions, but thank you for answering them, and please add anything else... maybe about when a guest comes over, or you are a guest in someone else's house.