外贸知识

【中国】Chinese Eating Custom

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TableManners

ThemaindifferencebetweenChineseandWesterneatinghabitsisthatunliketheWest,whereeveryonehastheirownplateoffood,inChinathedishesareplacedonthetableandeverybodyshares.IfyouarebeingtreatedbyaChinesehost,bepreparedforatonoffood.Chineseareveryproudoftheircultureoffoodandwilldotheirbesttogiveyouatasteofmanydifferenttypesofcuisine.Amongfriends,theywilljustorderenoughforthepeoplethere.Iftheyaretakingsomebodyoutfordinnerandtherelationshipispolitetosemi-polite,thentheywillusuallyorderonemoredishthanthenumberofguests(e.g.fourpeople,fivedishes).Ifitisabusinessdinneroraveryformaloccasion,thereislikelytobeahugeamountoffoodthatwillbeimpossibletofinish.

Atypicalmealstartswithsomecolddishes,likeboiledpeanutsandsmashedcucumberwithgarlic.Thesearefollowedbythemaincourses,hotmeatandvegetabledishes.Finallysoupisbroughtout,whichisfollowedbythestarchy”staple”food,whichisusuallyriceornoodlesorsometimesdumplings.ManyChineseeatrice(ornoodlesorwhatever)last,butifyouliketohaveyourricetogetherwithotherdishes,youshouldsaysoearlyon.

OnethingtobeawareofisthatwheneatingwithaChinesehost,youmayfindthatthepersonisusingtheirchopstickstoputfoodinyourbowlorplate.Thisisasignofpoliteness.Theappropriatethingtodowouldbetoeatthewhatever-it-isandsayhowyummyitis.Ifyoufeeluncomfortablewiththis,youcanjustsayapolitethankyouandleavethefoodthere,andmaybecoveritupwithalittlericewhentheyarenotlooking.ThereisacertainamountofleniencyinvolvedwhendealingwithWesterners,soyouwon’tbechastised.

EatingNo-no’s

Traditionallyspeaking,therearemanytaboosatChinesetables,butthesedaysnotmanypeoplepayattentiontothem.However,thereareafewthingstokeepinmind,especiallyifyouareaguestataprivatehome.

1.Don’tstickyourchopsticksuprightinthericebowl.Instead,laythemonyourdish.Thereasonforthisisthatwhensomebodydies,theshrinetothemcontainsabowlofsandorricewithtwosticksofincensestuckuprightinit.Soifyoustickyourchopsticksinthericebowl,itlookslikethisshrineandisequivalenttowishingdeathuponpersonatthetable!

2.Makesurethespoutoftheteapotisnotfacinganyone.Itisimpolitetosettheteapotdownwherethespoutisfacingtowardssomebody.Thespoutshouldalwaysbedirectedtowherenobodyissitting,usuallyjustoutwardfromthetable.

3.Don’ttaponyourbowlwithyourchopsticks.Beggarstapontheirbowls,sothisisnotpolite.Also,inarestaurant,ifthefoodiscomingtooslowpeoplewilltaptheirbowls.Ifyouareinsomeone’shome,itislikeinsultingthecook.

EatLocal

Youcangetexpensive,deliciousmealsinanyofthelargehotels,butifyouarelookingforatmosphere,youhavetogotoalocaljoint.Notonlyisitcheaper,butyoucangetagoodlookatthelocalsandwhatnormalpeoplearelike.Andwhatthefoodlacksinpresentationismadeupforinthetaste.SomerestaurantshaveEnglishmenus,butdon’tcountonit.Agoodwaytochoosedishesistolookatwhatothersareeatingandpointatitforthewaitress.Theotheroptionistoplay”MysteryDinner”,whereplayersrandomlypointatitemsinthemenuandwaitforthesurprisedishestocome.Whoeverordersthebraiseddogheartwithscallionsinsharkvomitsaucewins!

Also,besuretosamplethelocalbrew,YanjingBeer.

Drinking

GanBei!(Cheers!)

AlcoholisabigpartofeatinginBeijing.EspeciallywhendiningwithChinesehosts,youcanexpectthebeertoflowfreelyandmanybeistobegan-ed.(GanBeiliterallymeans”dry[the]glass”)Besidesbeer,theofficialChinesealcoholicbeverageisbaijiu,high-proofChineseliquormadefromassortedgrains.Therearevaryingdegreesofbaijiu,andsomearequitegood.TheBeijingfavoritesiscalledErGuoTou,whichisawhopping56%alcohol.MoreexpensiveandlessformidableareMaotaiandWuliangye,whichgofarabout300-400Yuanperbottle.Incomparison,ErGuoToucostsamodest4or5Yuanperping(bottle).Ifyouarenotadrinker,ordon’tfeeluptothechallenge,justsay”wobuhuihejiu”(Idon’tdrink).ItisgenerallyacceptabletouseCokeorteaasanalcoholsubstitute.

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