Dinner Etiquette

Last night, I presented in the Etiquette Dinner for about 90 graduate students at SU. While it is important to know the basics like the appropriate ways of drinking soup, using folks and knives, passing items on the table, and etc., I believe that showing respect to the host/hostess is the foremost important etiquette. In many cases, showing respect means going with the flow. Here are some examples:  

  • When I eat with my India friends in an India restaurant, even though silverwares are provided, I will eat with my hands if all my Indian friends want to do that.  
  • I am not a Christian. If I am eating with my Christian friends and they want to make a meal blessing by holding my hands on the dining table, I will hold their hands, but I usually just listen to what they say.
  • When everyone at the table uses hands on chicken wings and ribs, I will do the same.
  • When I eat with my Korean friends in a traditional Korean restaurant, if they choose to sit on the floor, I will not object their choice by moving to a regular table with chairs.

What does showing respect or going with the flow mean to you? Can you provide some specific examples?  

Again, the key of dinner etiquette is “doing the right things” so that everyone feels comfortable at the table. It is good to know the standards of dinner etiquette. It is also important to observe others’ preferences and possibly follow the lead of the host/hostess. What do you think?

References:
The picture was downloaded from a webpage of University of Wisconsin River Falls.

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