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8 Unexpected Rules That We Should Follow While Eating in a Foreign Country

Did you know that some eating patterns and traditions that we consider to be normal and correct may be banned or treated as disrespectful in some countries? We usually sprinkle our food with salt and pepper and don’t even realize that it’s treated as an offense in some countries. In this article, there are things that we should all keep in mind while traveling abroad.

Bright Side has found out some strange and unusual foreign eating traditions that we could face while traveling around the world.

8. Half of a cup of tea is only for welcome guests in Dubai and Kazakhstan.

In Dubai and Kazakhstan, tea is poured by the half cup or less, so that guests don’t feel like the hosts are waiting for them to leave. By pouring half a cup, the host lets you know that they want to prolong your nice conversation. If you get a full cup of tea, it’s a slight hint that it’s time to go home.

7. A clean teapot is a teapot without a soul in China.

In China, people don’t wash teapots with dish detergent. It’s washed with water or special sand. The resulting plaque is considered to be the tea’s soul, which is why it’s prohibited to “kill” it with various chemicals.

6. In Italy, you’ll insult the chef if you ask for extra cheese.

We can’t imagine pizza or pasta without some extra cheese. And though Italians love this product, it’s better to not ask for extra cheese. It may insult the chef because it means to them that you don’t like the dish as they’ve prepared it and you want to change it.

5. Don’t ask for salt and pepper in Portugal or Egypt.

If you ask for salt or pepper in Egypt or Portugal, you may hurt people’s feelings. The thing is, it’s a message to the person who’s cooked a dish letting them know that it’s not tasty enough and that you need to “complete” their work.

4. Don’t use forks in Thailand.

A fork is an ordinary utensil that we use to eat different products. But in Thailand, using a fork is considered bad form. You’re allowed to push food onto a spoon with a fork and that’s it.

3. Did you like a dish? In China, don’t finish eating everything on your plate.

If we like a dish, we often finish it to show that it was really tasty. In China, it’s impolite to finish eating everything on your plate. Empty plates indicate that a host hasn’t served enough food and guests are still hungry. So if you want to compliment a chef or a host, it’s recommended that you leave some food on your plate no matter how tasty it is.

2. Tea etiquette in Great Britain

Almost everyone knows that there’s a tradition in Great Britain of drinking tea at 5 PM. But not many people know how British people actually drink tea. First, they usually add milk. Second, they prefer their tea cool, not hot. Third, stirring a cup of tea is done gently and noiselessly in the center of the cup.

1. Be careful with chopsticks in Japan.

In Japan, it’s not recommended to stand your chopsticks up vertically. According to tradition, people place chopsticks vertically during funerals. In a restaurant, this action may insult the owner.

It’s also the reason why you’re not allowed to pass food with the help of chopsticks. At funerals, chopsticks are used to move bones during cremation.

Which customs are the strangest? Share your opinion with us!

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