The Comparison of Chinese and Western Table Manners

Yanye Li
2016 Proceedings of the 2016 2nd International Conference on Education Technology, Management and Humanities Science   unpublished
Chinese and western because of different social and cultural, historical and cultural and social background of influence, resulting in two different cultures of generation, table manners culture industry. Through the comparative study of Chinese and western table manners, we know the differences between Chinese and western table manners, and know how to avoid cultural conflicts in cross-cultural communication when we communicate with others. Chinese Table Manners Comprehending the etiquettes.
more » ... r many westerners, the Chinese dinner table is quite unique and complex. At the Chinese table, you can not find forks or knives. The Chinese host makes great, sweeping arm movements that go over large sections of the table passing over food. The scene is fantastic, but it leaves the foreigners at a loss for what to do and how to do. As for eating, our Chinese people usually did it quietly in the past. There was no eating noises allowed to make, and everything must be done as quietly as they could. Therefore, people had to eat with their mouths closed. Perhaps, to make a "smacking" noise was the worst offence behaves. While they are drinking soup, wine or any other kinds of liquid, "slurping" was also forbidden. If any sound whatever was created by our intake of food or beverage, it constituted bad manners! Of course, it was unthinkable to speak with one's mouth full of food, so speaking only occurred before or after one had taken in food and swallowed it. But nowadays, you can see this scene when you are attending a formal party. How one sits at the table is also prescribed. One is to sit up straight with the recessive hand (usually the left) in one's lap holding a napkin while the dominant hand (usually the right) holds the fork or spoon. The only time one can have both hands on the table is when he is using a knife to cut something, but as soon as the cutting is finished, the recessive hand should go back to the lap. Also, elbows are not allowed on the table. Therefore, one props the arm against the edge of the table just below the elbow. One should ask someone sitting near it to give it to you instead of reaching for any food on the table and stand up for the food. An American said:" In my time in China, I have come to enjoy Chinese table manners far more than those prescribed by my own culture, but for many it is impossible to adjust." So, for the foreigners, the best way is to ask your guest questions to find out the differences and try your best to adjust them. Handling the taboos. All of the people know that China has a long history, traditionally speaking, there are many taboos at Chinese tables, but these days not many people pay attention to them. However, there are a few things to keep in mind, especially if you are a guest at a private home. The author will list some taboos so as to help the readers to behave more properly and politely. 1) Don't stick your chopsticks upright in the rice bowl. Instead, lay them on your dish. The reason for this is that when somebody dies, the shrine to them contains a bowl of sand or rice with two sticks of incense stuck upright in it. So if you stick your chopsticks in the rice bowl, it looks like this shrine and is equivalent to wishing death upon a person at the table ! 2) Make sure that the spout of the teapot is not facing anyone. It is impolite to set the teapot down where the spout is facing towards somebody. The spout should always be directed to where nobody is sitting, usually just outward from the table.
doi:10.2991/etmhs-16.2016.112 fatcat:bha5kk6wi5brppwnbkbzwxxqne