Your mother taught you well when it comes to table manners, but did she tell you to never to fork food into your mouth in Thailand? Probably not, which is why you should pay attention to a few handy etiquette tips if you’ll be dining out internationally. No one wants to (intentionally) be a rude American, right?
BudgetTravel.com has a handy list of 15 tips to keep in mind if you’re visiting a foreign country, so you can eat like a native and avoid shocking your fellow diners.
Thailand: Putting food into your mouth with a fork is a no-no. Instead, you only use the fork to push cooked rice onto your spoon. If an item is standing alone, separate from the rice, then it’s okay. And also never use chopsticks for a rice-based meal.
Japan: Speaking of chopsticks, don’t stick yours upright in your rice in between bites. That kind of set-up is seen at funerals in Japan, in the rice bowl set in front of the coffin of the deceased.They should be set together in front of you, parallel to the edge of the table, and absolutely nowhere else.
Mexico: Eating tacos with a fork and a knife looks silly and snobby to locals there, so just suck it up and use your hands.
Britain: The port is always passed to the left here, for whatever reason. Even more fun, if someone fails to pass the port, ask them, “Do you know the Bishop of Norwich?” If they say they don’t know him, reply, “He’s a very good chap, but he always forgets to pass the port.” Makes total sense!
Russia: Vodka is always to be accepted and never mixed with anything, not even ice. Other liquids are seen as pollutants, corrupting the purity of the vodka. Unless you’re mixing beer with it — that’s fine. Accepting a drink is a sign of trust and friendship, so it’s a bad move to turn it down, even if it’s seven in the morning.
For more international dining tips, check out BudgetTravel.com.
15 International Food Etiquette Rules That Might Surprise You [BudgetTravel.com]