Jiang Qile: NFLS students who are walking toward the word must learn more about table manners. We should respect others, be humble, when in Rome, do as Romans do.
Jiang Wanting: so does everybody really know the food culture and table manners in some countries? We’d like to invite Zhang Ran from Class 8, senior Grade 1, to introduce some table manners in some countries, these manners will be very good tips for us.
About table manners
Table manners, as the term suggests, means the manners that we use when we are having meals at a table. Then, next, I'd like to share some experience I had about the table manners abroad, I think it might be useful for some of you. Western food culture and table manners are very different from those of ours, but once we respect others’ rules and habit, try to be easy, natural and graceful, pay attention to what others do and imitate, then we won’t make ourselves embarrassed or to be laughed at. For example, if we have a meal with other people, the most basic thing is that we should not forget that we are not just having a meal, the main purpose is that we are socializing, every behavior of yours, every word you say, are showing your quality and your manners. So it’s best to do in accordance with the host’s table rules and manners. Sit with good posture, eat with grace, be graceful, show your good manners and quality.
In most western countries, the posture at the dinner table is very important. While sitting by the table, keep sitting straight, remember “the food looks for the diner’s mouth” instead of “the mouth looks for the food”. while eating, your body can tip forward just a little bit, but the head should keep straight, you can’t bend your head above the plate, you should always deliver the food and soup into your mouth with a fork or a spoon, we Chinese like to eat or drink soup with our head bend down above the bowl or the place, this makes foreigners uncomfortable. Except hands, other parts of the body should be put on the table, the two arm should be close to the body, so they won’t interfere with others’ eating. While eating, trying not to make any noises, fighting or having hiccups are absolutely not allowed, talking loudly is also annoying.
In the meal, the way how you eat is more important than the way how you sit. Knife and fork are necessary in a western meal, learning to use them correctly is fundamental. Besides, we should be clear about the meanings of different display of knife and fork: putting the knife and fork in parallel means you are done with the food and you stop eating, putting the knife and fork in a cross means you are having a break and will eat later on. Knife is used to cut big pieces of food into small parts, you can’t deliver the food into your mouth with the knife, use your fork instead. You can’t put the fork into your mouth so deeply, don’t put the whole tooth part of the fork into the mouth. It’s not appropriate to pile too much food on the plate, add more food to your plate after you have done with the food; add the amount the you can eat, don’t leave any leftover on the plate, this is not only impolite, but also embarrasses the hostess, she would think that you might not like her cooking.
This summer, I was invited to have dinner with my German exchange student’s family in their home, for such a family dinner party, the most important thing was not about eating or drinking, but having communication with each other by having food together, so “free conversation”got more obvious and compelling. At the beginning of the party, we greeted each other, then, we had some free talks, though minor difficulties and embarrassments seemed unavoidable during our exchange of ideas, the whole party was going on with laughter and easy atmosphere, it was unforgettable experience for me. One thing that I really notices was that while eating, you shouldn’t talk with your mouth full of food, though you were asked questions, you’d better finish the food then answer, your friend would wait with patience, don’t worry about that.
Then, we should pay attention while we have meals at school canteen, for example, we should wait in line in order to get the food, don’t talk loudly while we are eating, don’t make noise when we use the utensils, try not speaking when we have food in our mouth, don’t waste food, etc.
I think, after so much about table manners, you know something about western table manners, I hope you can keep some tips above in mind, be a NFLS student with good manners and good qualities, thank you!
Jiang Qile: thank Zhang Ran for the wonderful introduction, we know how to discipline ourselves and respect others while we walk out of our country.
Jiang Wanting: here, we’d like to remind everyone, at each window at the school canteen, the food types are shown on the screen, we suggest that you should pay attention to this so you won’t waste time making choices.
Jiang Qile: please wait in a queue while you dump the leftover, dump in different classifications, show your quality and manners as a NFLS student.
Jiang Wanting: manners need no money, but they are worthier than anything else, let’s begin from dinner table, be a polite person!
Jiang Qile: thank you, everyone！