Photos are from our first lunch out in Beijing
When dining, people should behave in a civilized manner, pay attention to their own table manners and keep a good dining habit. Generally they should pay attention to the following several points:
Let the elders eat first or when you hear an elder say "let's eat", you start to eat. You should not steal a march on the elders.
When taking the dinner, you should hold the bowl with the thumb on the mouth of the bowl, the first finger, the middle finger and the third finger on the bottom and the palm of the hand empty. If you don’t hold the bowl but bend over the table and eat facing the bowl, it will be regarded as bad table manners. Moreover, it will have the consequence of pressing the stomach and affecting digestion.
When helping yourself to the dishes, you should take food first from the plate nearby or facing you rather than that in the middle or on the side of others. It's bad manners to use the chopsticks to burrow through the dishes in the plate and "dig for treasure" and keep your eyes glued to the plates. It is not appropriate to take too much food at a time. When finding some favorite dishes, you should not gobble them like whirlwind scattering wisps of cloud, nor put the plate in front of yourself and eat like a horse without further ado. You should consider your parents and siblings at the same table. If there is not much left in the plate and you want to "clean" it up, you should consult others. If they say they don’t want it any more, then you can eat it up.
You should close your mouth to chew food well before you swallow it, which is not only better for digestion, but also the requirement of etiquette on the dinner table. You should by no means open your mouth wide, fill it with large pieces of food and eat up greedily, nor stretch your neck, open your mouth wide, extend your tongue to catch the food when carrying food. Don’t put too much food into your mouth at a time. Otherwise, you will leave an avaricious impression on others.
You should behave elegantly when taking a dinner. When taking food, don’t bump against your neighbor, nor splash the soup or let the soup drop onto the table. If the corner of your mouth is stained with rice, use a tissue or a napkin to wipe it off gently instead of licking it with your tongue. When chewing food, don’t make noises such as "baba" and "bajibaji". You had better not talk with others with your mouth full. Be temperate in telling a joke lest you might spew your food or the food might enter the windpipe and cause danger. If you really need to take with your families, you should speak small.
When spitting out bones, fish bones and dish dregs, use chopsticks or hand to take them and put them on the table in front of you instead of spitting them directly onto the table or the ground. If you want to cough or sneeze, use your hand or a handkerchief to cover your mouth and turn your head backwards. If you find sand in your mouth when chewing or phlegm in the throat, you should leave the dinner table and spit it out.
During the dinner, you should try to refill the bowl with rice yourself and take initiative to refill the bowl with rice and dishes for the elders. When the elders do that for you, you should express your thanks.
Be concentrated when taking the dinner. Some children watch TV or read papers when having their meals. It is a bad habit. It is not sanitary, and will influence the digestion and assimilation of food and do harm to eyesight.
All photography on this post at Junk Boat Travels are under copyright. If you would like to use any of my photographs please contact me first.