Many countries around the world have very different beliefs when it comes to meal-time manners. If you’re travelling abroad sometime soon and want to make sure you know the ropes, read on for etiquette tips for these popular destinations.
Russia has various unwritten rules regarding dining, such as men having to pour drinks for women who are seated next to them. Russians will also encourage you to take second helpings, however leaving a small amount of food on your plate at the end of a meal is preferred, as it indicates to the host that they have provided a sufficient amount of food.
When in Italy, make sure you do not sit down at the table before you are invited! The host is expected to set a precedent for the meal, and guests must only begin eating after they have. Don’t be hasty to get up, either. Again, you must follow the host. This is another common mistake: while the British have the rule of keeping elbows off the table, Italians prefer them to be on it, rather than on your lap, as this is considered rude.
If you’re travelling to Morocco, one of the most important things to remember is to wash your hands! Washing basins will be provided before the meal. You must also refrain from putting your hands in your mouth, as Moroccans often eat from a communal dish. Another thing to note is that food is sometimes served on the floor on a shared plate that guests simply sit around – so don’t be surprised if there isn’t a table!
In France, you must be careful to keep your knife and fork crossed over each other on your plate if you have not finished eating. Otherwise your food could be taken away! Another rule is that everything on your plate needs to be finished by the end of the meal – so don’t… bite off more than you can chew, as it were
Hopefully you can impress your friends and family armed with your dining knowledge on your next trip abroad. Be sure to research rules for different countries if you’re travelling elsewhere, or you could end up with a very disgruntled host!