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23 Etiquette Tips You Need To Know Before Eating At A Real Chinese Restaurant

Put down the soy sauce and no one gets hurt.

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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.


7. Tap with two fingers as someone is pouring for you to show appreciation.

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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.


14. Think of rice as a supporting character. It's purpose is to be a balancing, palate-cleansing base in a meal.

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Too spicy? Have some rice. Too salty? Have some more rice. Don't pour soy sauce on it.


18. There's almost always a whole fish. When you're done with one side, don't flip the fish.

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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.

19. Finish all your rice or your future spouse will have as many pockmarks on his/her face as there are rice kernels left in your bowl.


20. When the bill arrives, prepare for battle. 'Splitting the bill' doesn't exist in the Chinese vernacular.

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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.

23. If there aren't any leftovers, then your host will assume you're still hungry.

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And they have failed as a host. As stated before, it's good manners to make sure everyone's got plenty to eat (read: too much to eat).

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