By Annie Tucker Morgan, DivineCaroline
If you grew up in the United States and thought American table manners were tough to remember—Keep your elbows off the table! Don’t talk with your mouth full! Always pass the salt and pepper together!—think again. Just as complicated, try eating a casual group dinner in one of these other countries, where the slightest indiscretion with a pair of chopsticks or the position of your feet can land you in the doghouse with your host.
- Dinner guests are treated like royalty: they’re seated farthest from the door, they’re offered food first and expected to eat the most, and they’re always given the prime portion from each dish.
- If you drop bread on the floor while dining at a table, pick it up, kiss it, and touch it to your forehead before putting it somewhere other than the floor.
- Dishes should be served from the left and removed from the right. Guests should be served first.
- Do not answer the phone at the dinner table.
- Always chew with your mouth closed, and do not talk until it is empty.
- Eat quietly and do not slurp your food.
- Eat only one helping of food, unless the host specifically encourages you to take seconds.