One of the great things about traveling around the world is all of the wonderful food you get to try. Watch yourself when you start to reach for that food, though, or you just might offend someone. When it comes to table manners, what works in one country doesn’t always go over in another.
The United States has its own special dining customs that visitors should know about before sitting down to a meal. For example, when food starts to arrive, you can’t just dig in. It’s considered rude to start eating before everyone at the table has received his or her meal.
Once you start to chow down, it’s important to remember to keep your elbows off the table and keep your mouth closed as you chew. One last tip for American dining is never pick up your bowl or plate as you eat. This is considered rude beyond all belief.
If you think Americans are picky about table manners, think about Taiwan’s customs. The list of rules is equally long. You cannot stick your chopsticks upright in your bowl of rice. Furthermore, you should never gesture with your chopsticks. For some visitors, using chopsticks is challenging enough without the rules of what you can and can’t do with them!