ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Dietary Restrictions

Table Manners : Different People Different Stokes

Updated on June 27, 2011

Dining Table Manners

The fact that humans must eat food to survive is universal. What is not universal is the food that they eat, and how they eat it.

Beef or Pork

In predominantly Hindu Nations like India you can not even imagine eating Beef in some cities. This is because the Cow is worshiped as a Goddess by the Hindus. Similarly in predominantly Muslim Nations in the Middle East there is no way you'll get Pork in the open market. The swine is considered an impure animal and to consume it would pollute the Muslim. So the kind of meat you eat is dictated in part by where in the world you stay. Although almost everyone loves a good leg of chicken. OH wait a minute I forgot about the vegetarians.

The Table or the Floor

Religious sentiments aside, even the way that food is eaten is different in different countries. In the west the general custom is to eat food at a dining table sitting on chairs placed around it. While in Asia the custom is to dine sitting down on the floor. A custom that many western visitors find rather uncomfortable. The more common custom these days seems to be the Buffet table. A good middle of the road approach which suits both parties. Pile food onto your plate and head for where you can comfortably consume it.

Crockery and Cutlery

There is no side plate for bread on some dining tables, and at others their absence is a major faux pax. While a Chapati is placed not on a side dish but in the main plate that you are eating in. Individual plates for all? Not so if you are eating biryani on Id. All guests and family members dig into the biryani on a gigantic plate with their hands. No need for forks and spoons thank you. Naturally it will be considered highly impolite by some others!

Help Yourself or be Served

It is an essential part of fine dining to be served at the table in the western countries by trained waiters. In India the ladies of the house serve the gents while they eat and serve themselves after they have finished. It used to be customary for the wife to eat in the husband's used plate. Also while you ask someone to pass the butter or salt at a western table, at an oriental one you help yourself. Yes you can thrust your hand over the plate of another and help yourself to what you want and that's considered polite!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • cashmere profile image
      Author

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      francia, it is so funny the way we are the same and still so different.

      Brian generalizations are dangerous at times :)

      My pleasure Red Elf.

      Duchess, I'm sure they won't force you to sit on the floor, stools are always available.

      So true bingskee, so true.

      Philipo and Yangtze, thanks for the appreciation and encouragement.

    • Yangtze profile image

      Yangtze 8 years ago

      Thanks so much for the useful information on the dinning cultural differences between different countries.

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 8 years ago from Nigeria

      Different strokes for different folks. There is indeed different cultures. The way and manner people do things including eating really differs. Thanks for sharing.

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 8 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      it is interesting to note that people from all over the world are diverse. having said that, it pays to learn first before making comments, or judgments as well.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      hmmm, not something one thinks about normally unless you are from a different culture than the one you live in or are visiting.

      Might be a good idea to look into that before making your travel arrangements so you know what to expect. Me, I don't think I'd be able to get back up off the floor if I had to sit there to eat. The old bones would argue too much!

      Good information

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks so much for this interesting and informative Hub. It is great to be able to vicariously experience the culture and customs of others!

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 8 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      Interesting read, I think that even neighbors can have significant differences to the way they eat, just look at the French and the English. For one food and eating is a social occasion and for the other its just a time to satisfy a need quickly. A sweeping generalisation of course, but aren't they the best?

    • franciaonline profile image

      franciaonline 8 years ago from Philippines

      This is a good hub for people to appreciate cultural diversity at meal time. Thanks for this hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)