Extraordinary Dining Customs Around The World.There is no better way to get to know a country's culture and it's people other than breaking bread with its locals. It really does help to have an awareness of the dining customs of the destination of question. While we have internalised our own strict dining codes over years of conditioning, other traditions can sometimes leave you a little bewildered. Here are just a few you may not know about… France Everyone knows how much the french love their cheeses. In the French culture cheese can be served before or after dessert, often comes before. The key point is not in the timing, it is all the technique of the cutting! Cutting the cheese correctly is of utmost importance to ensure that the skin and ‘dough’ of the cheese is fairly distributed. I know it may be your favorite part, but, never cut the tip of the cheese off. EVER. Russia If your next holiday is planned in Russia, it would be vital to take some liver and kidney tablet with you. In Russia, it is considered rude to open a bottle of vodka and not finish it, regardless of how drunk you get in the process. The Russian manners include no mixers to be added to the vodka. Vodka is a sacred drink and shouldn’t be mixed with anything. Korea Respect for elders and ancestors is a big part of the Korean culture. When pouring a drink for a person older than you, whether it be from a glass, bottle or jug, it is a sign of respect to pour with two hands. This two-handed rule would apply to all circumstances for the elders, in both formal and casual events. Another rule to follow is never to look at the elder while you are drinking. When you pick up your drink to take a sip turn your head to the side (look left or right) so that the elder can see your profile view, only then you may drink. Once you have finished drinking may you then look at the elder. This is another way the Koreans show respect to their elders. The Philippines If you are the type of person who can’t refuse food then the Philippines is the place for you! It is considered impolite to refuse food. If the host offers you more food after your, let's say eighth course, you really have no choice but to accept. Smile and eat (slowly), otherwise you will be offered even more food. Don’t be surprised if you’re told you need to eat more ‘because you’re so skinny’, this is standard procedure – whether you are or not… Mexico If time is not your best friend and being punctual is never an option for you, go live in Mexico! Being invited to a dinner party in Mexico can be quite confusing for most cultures as it is frowned upon to arrive on time. Mexicans are usually 30 mins (fashionably) late for dinner parties and events. I wonder if this applies to office hours is the business world? There is nothing better than visiting another culture and knowing enough about it to respect it and furthermore be respected in return.
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