I believe many of us know that the Chinese are not very touchy feely, this is obvious especially when come to greeting. For example, the Chinese prefer handshakes over European style of cheek kissing, right?
Similarly, when come to eating at those places of interest in China there is also much difference when compared to other races. Instead of ordering individual main dishes in China, it is usual for those around a table, whether 2, 3 or more people, they tend to order several dishes and eat together by ordering something like a half chicken, a fish dish, fried rice, a vegetable or so, all of which would be placed on the same table for everyone to share.
What I can say about the interesting part of it is the noisily slurping up soup and noodles are considered a norm as is belching when you are done. Also don’t feel strange and uncommon when you see the locals covering the tablecloth with spat out bones, crumbs or even drips, reason being it is a sign showing that they enjoyed their meal very much! However, you should never point or play with your chopsticks or place the chopsticks on top of your rice bowl when you have finished eating, it is considered bad manners to Chinese.
The proper way to eat when traveling to and around interesting places in China is to:
- Hold the bowl close to your mouth and shovel in the contents without any qualms;
- Always place the chopsticks horizontally on the table or plate; and
- Never leave your chopsticks standing up in a bowl of rice (the reason behind it is that they look like the two incense sticks burnt at funerals!)
Do enjoy your trip to interesting places in China, and I am sure you can eat like a local now!