1. Chinese dining etiquette is full of significant traditions. Observance reflects well on your family and how they brought you up.
Learn your way around a lazy susan, as everything is done family style.
3. Bring your appetite because you can count on about 10 courses.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
4. For food and tea, always serve from oldest to youngest and yourself last.
7. Tap with two fingers as someone is pouring for you to show appreciation.
This was started by an emperor who often toured his kingdom undercover. He would pour tea for his guards, who couldn’t blow his cover, so they bowed for the honor with their fingers.
9. When making toasts, holding your cup with two hands is a sign of respect.
One handed toasts signals laziness and disrespect. If you’re the oldest at the table, you’re exempt from this — like most things on this list. Do whatever you want, boo.
18. There’s almost always a whole fish. When you’re done with one side, don’t flip the fish.
Instead, remove the bone and proceed. This tradition started with fisherman for whom the fish symbolized the boat. And as the word for fish sounds like the word for surplus, it also means capsizing your luck.
20. When the bill arrives, prepare for battle. ‘Splitting the bill’ doesn’t exist in the Chinese vernacular.
Even as the guest, it’s impolite not to try to foot the bill. Every Chinese kid has slumped in his/her seat out of embarrassment because the parents are duking it out over the bill. VERY LOUDLY.
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