News Analysis

A Must-Know Food Etiquette In Selected Asian Countries

If you find yourself eating a whole fish in China, you might feel the urge to turn it over to get to the meat on the other side.

But we will warn you right now, don’t do it.

To turn a fish over, that means you have to turn the bones over, which symbolizes turning your back on someone or becoming a traitor.

It is also a no according to an old fishing superstition, which says that doing so could cause a boat to capsize. Whatever particular superstition your hosts may subscribe to, turning your fish over is generally frowned upon, so avoid it if you can. To get at the meat on the other side of the fish, just have patience and eat straight through it. Less efficient, sure, but you will draw fewer judgmental looks.

In Some Nigerian Cultures, children are served meals before the adults.  However, reverse is the case in South Korea.

No one is permitted to take a bite until the oldest person has started eating, a custom that’s viewed as a sign of great respect. It is also polite to wait for the oldest person to sit down before taking your own seat. Yeah, there’s a lot riding on the oldest person in the room, so you’d better hope they are hungry.

We all know a loud eater. They are that person who we try not to sit next to when they are eating spaghetti, because we will hear that annoying slurping sound all night.

Well, in Japan, that sound is not annoying, it is a sign that the eater is thoroughly enjoying their meal.

In addition to being a signal of respect, slurping is also believed to improve the flavour of noodles and allows you to enjoy hot food more quickly. Coating the noodles in saliva cools them down, meaning you don’t have to wait as long before you can dive in.

So, if you are in Japan, there is no need to delicately twirl your noodles on a spoon or cut them into fragments, Slurp away.

Titilayo Kupoliyi

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