Thursday, December 11, 2014

Traditional Chinese Dinner

This semester, in addition to my normal classes, I also teach a group of eight working adults in the evenings at my university. Tonight the school hosted a meal for us at a restaurant so that we could eat a traditional Chinese meal and learn the traditional dining etiquette rules. Each of the students shared a different aspect of the culture.  We covered everything from different types of tea, rules of using chopsticks, a story on birthday noodles, how to host a meal and other dining tips.

For a Chinese meal, the food is all placed in the middle of the table and the center spins so you can easily pass the food around. When something comes by that you want, you reach your chopsticks out and take a piece. Some tables are motorized and move on their own and you place your fingers on the table to pause the motion. The table we had today was not motorized so we would spin it to pass the dishes around. Etiquette dictates that you check to make sure that no one is taking food from a dish before you spin the table. If someone is selecting something from a dish, you wait until they are finished and then rotate the table to get what you want.     

Traditional style chair

In addition to the presentations on Chinese culture we had a variety of dishes to try. I liked almost every one of them. Many of the foods area similar to what I eat back home, but they are cooked in different ways and with different sauces or ingredients. 

Here is a look at the dishes I ate:




Pork Meatballs (aka Lion's heads)

Chinese Pizza


White Carrot

Wild Goose






Have you had an experience learning the etiquette rules of another culture?

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