Chinese Dining Etiquette
At Chinese meal times, Chinese people use a round or square table. Person of most importance would usually take seat farthest away from door whilst youngest or person of least importance would take seat closest to door.
However, if you are host, usually you would take seat which is closest to walkway since it allows most convenient movement by host.
Unlike western style, Chinese people do not use forks and knives. We use a pair of chopsticks and spoons. Unlike Japanese chopsticks, Chinese chopsticks have both ends of same size whilst Japanese ones have one end sharper than other.
There are several things to remember when you use chopsticks.
- Don't dig in food on a plate but just get piece which you want to get - Don't pick one piece then drop it back in plate and change to another piece - Don't let your chopsticks be covered with food juice or residue - Don't use chopsticks to beat any utensils to make any noise - Don't wave your chopsticks - Don't use chopsticks like forks - Don't use chopsticks as toothpicks - Don't lick or suck your chopsticks - Don't put chopsticks vertically in rice in a bowl since it resembles incense sticks for dead
Particularly after SARS, it is more common these days that people use a pair of common chopsticks for fetching food on plates. Don't forget to swap your own chopsticks with ones provided when getting food because of hygiene reasons.