If you’ve been traveling for a bit, you probably have noticed that every country has different eating habits. Eating habits abroad are different! Something considered normal at home, can be not normal at all in another country.
According to me, these are a few strange and funny eating habits abroad!
1. Slurping in Asia
It always seems strange and impolite to me when someone is slurping really loud during dinner. But in Asia, slurping is a big compliment to the chef. This way, you let him/her know that you really enjoy the food. Asians also believe that slurping improves the taste of food.
2. Eating with chopsticks in Japan
In the Netherlands we mostly eat sushi with chopsticks and eating it this way is quite doable most of the time. But in Japan, people mostly eat everything with chopsticks, including noodles and rice. Did you know that only in Japan people use 25 billion wooden chopsticks? Not really good for the environment. Next to this, there are also more rules when it comes to eating with chopsticks in Japan. For example, you’re not allowed to play with your sticks. Using the stick for something else than eating or touching the end with your finger is a big no-no. It is also considered rude to pass food over to other people with the help of chop sticks.
3. Sniffing food in Tanzania
In Tanzania it is very rude to sniff your food. It means that the food is not good. I think this is a shame, because the smell of food is important to me. But well, in Tanzania you have to start eating immediately.
4. Eating habits in China
In China, they also have several eating habits which we do not know in the Netherlands. Long noodles are a symbol for a long life in China. That is why cutting your noodles means shortening your life. Don’t do it! Also, never point your chopsticks to another person at the table and never turn over a fish on your plate, because it’s a sign of bad luck according to the Chinese.
5. Starting to eat in South Korea
In South Korea, you never start eating but instead you wait until the oldest person at the table starts to eat. This is a sign of respect. Here in the Netherlands, we are used to start eating when every person has their food.
6. Your left hand in India
In India, people eat with their hands, but only with their right hand. The right hand is seen as the clean hand and you use this for eating and picking up things which are not considered dirty. The left hand is being used for other things like cleaning yourself after a toilet visit.
7. Eating with your hands in Brazil
Brazilians eat nothing with their hands and this includes pizza or chicken wings. They eat it all with a knife and a fork. You are allowed to pick up food with a napkin though. Refusing food in Brazil is also considered to be rude. So if you’re not hungry, then just make up an excuse about being allergic or something like that. Burping at the table is also not appreciated in Brazil.
8. Talking while eating in Bolivia
In Bolivia, it is not allowed to talk about work at the dining table. Especially during a social gathering such as a dinner at another place or a wedding, this is not allowed. During a business-related lunch or dinner, you always have to wait until the person who has invited you starts talking about business.
9. Salt in Egypt
Make sure to never season your food with salt in Egypt. This is a huge insult for the chef and it indicates that you do not like the food.
10. Eating and drinking in Russia
When you finish a bottle of vodka in Russia, you have to place the empty bottle on the floor. Russians believe that an empty bottle on the table means bad luck. The Russians also consider it rude to lick the cutlery you use to cut your food.
These are some of the strange eating habits abroad! Do you know more eating habits abroad?
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