Don’t Humiliate Yourself! Avoid These 24 Dining Taboos From Around The World

Do you remember the last time you went with your parents to a restaurant and they told you not to chew with your mouth open or stare at the fighting couple besides you, because it was considered rude? Imagine a situation like that, but in another country and the possibility of you landing in deep trouble if you’re not careful.

These countries are beautiful and their cuisine is mouthwatering; however, your meal may be cut short if you do not adhere to the ‘rules’ set by the people in these places.

The next time you visit Japan, Italy or any of these exciting new countries, be aware of the ‘taboos’ associated with their dining manners.


“Don’t point those at me”- China

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In China, it is considered rude and disrespectful to point chopsticks at anyone while eating.


“Wait, don’t eat yet. Grandma hasn’t started eating.”- Korea

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In Korea, you are not supposed to eat until the oldest person has dug into their food .


“Don’t use your hands please.”-Chile

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In Chile, you are not allowed to eat anything with your hands, not even pizza.


“Did you just ask for more cheese?”- Italy

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 Never ask for extra cheese in Italy as it is considered an insult to the chef.


“Am I early? Okay I will come back later”- Tanzania

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In Tanzania, you should show up 20 minutes late for dinner or lunch; if you are early it is considered an insult to the host.


“That empty bottle goes on the ground!”-Russia

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In Russia, empty vodka bottles are kept on the ground, and it is not acceptable to place them on the table.


“Don’t pass the food with that!”- Japan

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 Never pass food in Japan with chopsticks, as they are used to pass bones at cremation funerals and cannot be accepted for using them to pass food.


“Keep the soup a little away, yes.”- United Kingdom

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In the UK, you must always tilt the soup away from you and put the spoon at a little distance away as well.


“Don’t lick the knife!”- Russia

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 In Russia, you should not lick food off a knife; it is considered extremely rude. and also, it could be dangerous.


“Keep your hands where I can see them”- Indonesia

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In Indonesia, you must keep your hands at the table at all times.


“I shall make a second offer you can’t refuse”- Italy

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In Italy, you’re allowed to say no once upon being offered food. But on being asked again, you must accept the offer.


“Don’t feed him that chicken!”- Jamaica

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 In Jamaica, you should not feed babies chicken, as they believe it could devoid them of sound and speech.


“He will rob me if he eats that egg!”- Nigeria

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 In Nigeria, you must not feed kids eggs, as they believe it will turn them into thieves.


“Slow down!”- France

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In France, you must savour your meal and it is considered rude and brash if you rush through it.


“Horizontal, not vertical!”- Japan

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Image Credit: wikimedia.org

In Japan, you must never leave chopsticks vertically in your food. This is typically done as an offering to the dead by families at home but in a restaurant it is seen as cursing the owner.


“Right, not left! RIGHT!” – Afghanistan

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In Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, you must eat food with your right hand as the left hand is reserved for bathroom hygiene.


“No madame, no takeout.”- France

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Image Credit: wikimedia.org

In France do not leave food on your plate or ask for a box. This implies that you did not enjoy the meal.


“If its bread, it is okay.” – Germany

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In Germany, the only food you are allowed to eat with fingers, is bread.


 “Half cup or leaving?”- Kazakstan

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In Kazakstan you will be served tea, but only half of a cup. Don’t ask for more because a full cup means that the host wants you to leave.


“Don’t start a fight!”- Azerbaijan

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 In Azerbaijan do not spill the salt because it means you are about to quarrel. Sugar is sprinkled on the salt to counter this.


 “Don’t pick that up!”- Egypt

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In Egypt don’t even pick up the salt shaker. It will insult the chef


“Don’t worry, I shall pay for now.”- France

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In France you should never split a bill. Either pay the whole thing or pay nothing. Anything else is considered unsophisticated.


“Kiss it before you kill it”- Estonia

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In Estonia make sure you kiss any bread that falls on the ground before throwing it away.


“Look away if you are having that water”- South Korea

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Image Credit: thaihealth.org

 In South Korea when you drink something, turn your head and look away

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