Aside from taking IG-worthy photos and enjoying the beautiful sceneries and tourists spots offered by the countries we visit, one thing that any tourist would love to cross out of his bucket list would be savouring the food the country offers. But, here's a friendly reminder: don’t just get to stuff things in your mouth. There are certain customs that you need to keep in mind when dining, especially if you are going to visit Asian countries. Here are some of them.
The Japanese primarily use chopsticks as utensils. In fact, you don’t have as many options, and your ability to use chopsticks effectively shows your courtesy and politeness in eating. So make sure you learn how to do it properly.
Here, slurping while eating a bowl of soupy noodles wouldn’t raise eyebrows. In fact, the chef or the host would love to hear that from you because it means that you are enjoying your food. When eating sushi, make sure to dip the fish side on the soy sauce, which you pour separately on the bowl provided for it. But never mix the wasabi into the soy sauce because it ruins the taste of the sushi itself. Plus, it’s a disrespect to the chef.
Vietnam is famous for its quintessential landscapes, rich history, and diverse culture. On a Vietnamese table, dishes are served family-style and are shared communally, so you’ll get to taste a lot of food all at the same time. Don’t be shocked when the host continues to replenish your plate once it’s emptied because it’s a normal custom in Vietnam. So, if you are already full, be sure to have some leftovers on your plate. Don’t worry, because in this case, it’s not considered rude. When dining in Vietnam, you are also expected to put both of your hands on the table; one hand for holding the bowl or plate, and the other for holding utensils — be it chopsticks, spoon, or fork. And yes, it is just normal to put the bowl close to your face when eating.
South Korea is famous not only for K-dramas, K-Pop and K-Beauty, but it’s also famous for its food. South Korea is also known for its strict observance of seniority, and yes, seniority is still followed when dining. You must wait for the elders to begin eating before you could eat and you must pace yourself with your companions. Also, expect to drink alcoholic beverages while eating; it’s a no-no to decline the offer. You are also expected to refill each other’s glass when drinking.
China is popular for its busy cities, rural areas, bustling tourist destinations, and the variety of food it offers. Chopsticks are common utensils in China, but be mindful when you are using them. Never stick your chopsticks vertically into your rice because it’s a bad gesture; it may seem harmless, but it resembles how incense sticks are offered to the dead. Seniority also plays a big role in Chinese dining. Be sure to eye your senior because they would be the one to designate the seating order.
In some parts of India, burping is not seen as rude but as a sign that you are enjoying the meal. Using hands or utensils are also very normal, and either way, you have to thoroughly wash your hands before dining. However, the right-hand rule applies when it comes to eating using your bare hands. Your left must be maintained clean for passing meals around the table. Also, it’s a no-no in India to point to the dish across you — or worse, get it by yourself. If you want to get a taste of the meal, never be afraid to ask them to pass it to you, and they’d appreciate that.
Next, awaken your creative side with these art cafes.