"Chinese Character" written by Lyn 01/18/2010
Etiquette at Table between East and West 12/10/2009
Below is a passage submitted by my friend Jane. Jane's works are in black. My corrections are in blue. I try to keep Jane's ideas and style as much as possible. Jane has to certain extent mistaken the title as being the custom rather the etiquette between the two cultures. Etiquette means manner (礼仪) at a dinner table. which includes the way one eats, talks or sits at a table or time to arrive at a dinner or time to leave. Anyway, it is not an easy subject. Jane has handled it quite well. In the first two paragraphs she is writing about the customs between the cultures, but she returns to the subject at the last two paragraphs, but apparently she could not write in English. Anyway, Jane, a job well done.
I think there are big different etiquette at table between east and west. First, they use different utensils, west people use a lot of utensil like fork、spoon and knife, but east people just use simple utensil, such as chopsticks even as India, straight use their right hand. There are differences and similarities between the etiquette at table between the eastern and western cultures. First of all, let's talk about the differences. The westerners use silverware such as forks, knives and soup spoons, which are made of stainless steel, while easterners use chopsticks and soup spoons (made of porcelain). In certain part of India, people eat with their hands，which is handled unacceptable in the western cultures
Moreover, table setting are also differences. For example, Chinese considered left is an importance place than right, opposite, west people common like right as honorable. Moreover, the dinner table and table seating arrangements are different between the two customs. The dinner table for the west are mostly rectangle while the east are round. As for seatings, the western custom is that the host will sit at one end of the table, while the eastern custom is that the host will sit facing the door.
You are right. In addition, they have differences in ways of eating food. In China, all people could eat food what he or she like on the table. All dish are public, but you can’t 用筷子在盘子里翻来翻去地挑捡食物（I don’t know how does to translate this sentence）。That behavior considered not good manner. In addition, there are differences in the ways foods are served between the two cultures, the westerners serve a dinner by courses and one course, or plate, is served after another, and each person has his own choice or portion of his foods served separately. However, the eastern culture, or the Chinese culture, has the foods served very much at the same time and they are not served separately to each individually. Therefore, in a Chinese meal, the foods are shared among the people at the table. It is considered bad manner for a person to use his chopsticks turning foods in a plate upside down to pick what he likes.
But they are has some same Etiquette too. Like, can’t put your elbow on the table. Don’t talk with anyone when your mouth full with food. In ancient china formal occasion, when king feasts his ministers with individual serving. Now let's talk about the similarities, For both cultures, it is considered impolite for a person to put his elbows on the table or to talk with foods in his mouth.
An introduction to Chinese table manners 12/10/2009
Jane please see my comments of your exercise in blue. You are showing a lot of improvements. However, pay more attention to the basics. Every sentence should have a subject, a verb and an object. Also try to avoid abbreviations like can't, shouldn't etc, Such is not acceptable in formal writing or an examination. You will lose marks. Spell them out in full. Finally, please try to treat your readers as a third person rather than a 2nd person, i.e. use one instead if you, for example, one should not point chopsticks....... instead of you should not...because it seems you are ordering the reader to do or not do something and the reader usually is your teacher who scores your papers. Again you will lose marks. I think your teacher does not like being ordered. You may submit your papers as quickly as you like and I will review them as quickly as I can.
Table manners is always importance thing in Chinese daily life. Table manners are always important in Chinese daily life
We consider take food not only base physiological needs but also importance experience of social paramount. Therefore, handle the ruler of China table manners are very importance either you are a host or a guest. Eating not only satisfies one's physiological needs for food but also serves as an occasion for social engagement. I am going to talk about table manners at a social meal here. Knowing your table manners is important for a host or a guest.
As a host, you need wait your guests outside, and must begin after your guests all arrived. Round table popular, because everyone can facing his or her friends. A bowl in front of one sit, chopsticks and spoon at right near the bowl. As a host, one needs to arrive before his guests and wait outside the diner or the restaurant to welcome his guests. A round table is the preferred for better seating arrangement, because would appear to be facing each other. A bowl is placed in front of where one sits and a pair of chopsticks and a spoon are put at the right hand of the bowl.
At formal occasion, napkin present on the table. putting it on your lap when you sit down. During taking food, host must treatment guests eat as more as they can. As a guest, you can’t sit down before the host invite. At a formal meal, napkins are placed on the table and each person put a napkin on his lap when he sits down. At the meal, as a courtesy, a host will offer to his guests to eat as much as they can. As a guest, he is not supposed to sit down before his host invites him to do so.
You shouldn’t point chopsticks to person or make a gesture indicate, of course, absolutely can not suck or inserted into the rice, this is taboo----like the funeral of incense, unlucky. One should not point his chopsticks, or make a gesture with them, at any person at the table. Further one is not supposed to stick or inserted chopsticks into a bowl of rice. It is a taboo to do so as it looks likes burning of inscent sticks at a funeral and is believed to bring bad luck.
In addition, can not use the chopsticks non-stop flipping diecai in dish, you must sight and straight get the food. When you finished meal you should take back your chopsticks to chopsticks seat. In addition, one cannot use chopsticks to flip diecai (??) in dishes not-stop. One should pick and eat foods in front of him. When one finishes a meal he should put the chopsticks back onto the chopstick holder in front of him.
At formal occasion, first are hot towel to guests towel, few cool dish had already put on the table, and then put on some hot dish, soup, the rice or other staple food present at last. If host entertainment with wine in the feasts, rice must present after person finished drink. If you don’t like to drink, you must talk to host at begin. Common after had feasts, host will treat tea to guests at other room. It best not to leave immediately after dinner. Finally, hot towels are usually offered to guests after the first few courses, which are usually cold dishes, and these are followed by hot dishes, soups, rice or other starch foods like noodles or buns. If wines are served with a meal, rice must be served to each person after everybody finishes his drinks. If one does not drink, he should tell his guest before the meal. As a common practice, a host will serve his guests some teas usually at another room. It is good manner that one should not leave immediately after a meal.