Table Manners

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Table Manners Reviews

WarrenRodwell WarrenRo…
50 reviews
Nov 02, 2007
Mainland Chinese table manners are different from those of the western world. You need not care too much when you are having a daily meal in the restaurant by yourself. But, if you are invited to your Chinese friends’, you may need to know some basic courtesy. First thing is sitting. In China, the seat facing the door is called "seat of honor". The host generally asks the most distinguished guest or elder people to sit there. Other persons sit in different seats as per their social position. Of course, the easiest thing is to let the host arrange a seat for you.

Next is toasting. Chinese people like talking loudly to express enthusiasm during the meal, and people always propose toasts to each other when the atmosphere is booming. In general, the host proposes a toast to the guests and the younger ones to the elder. In addition, you have to drink all the wine in your cup. Otherwise, people may think that you look down upon them.

NOTE: It can very difficult for foreign tourists to use chopsticks, but generally there are no knives and forks in small restaurants. You can ask the waiter for a spoon, which can help you conveniently enjoy Chinese cuisine. Of course, you can always take a fork with you to make it more convenient. Chinese cuisine is refined and delicious. Generally, there are no big pieces of meat. You do not need a knife.


Expatriate writer Warren Rodwell has been in China since 2002, and teaches university postgraduates in Chengdu. Many of his feature stories, reviews & photographs have been published online or in hardcopy media form. Warren also narrates documentaries and administers various websites as part of his efforts to promote Chengdu & Sichuan culture(s) more globally.

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