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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    What are Table manners? How important is table manners in a society?

    Table manners is the behavior one displays while eating with family, friends or in a social gathering.

    Is one's personality judged by the manner in which he eats? Is it important to learn these manners from the childhood itself? Many of us use a high standard of dining order, like a good cutlery, fine dining sets, lavish food etc.

    Is eating on a banana leaf considered to be a rule of table manners? Should we follow the so called table manners or should we be simple and follow the basics and traditions of our eating habits? How important is it for a child to follow these manners?
  • #617047
    Serving food on banana leaves considered to be hygienic and for those who have food on banana leaves would have the better digestion. In olden days our elders do followed everything as per scientific requirement, but they could not able to reason out or tell the exact meaning as to why they are doing so. While eating one should not talk in between. This is the most important table manners as those who eat the food , they do so enjoying the good taste and would like to cherish the great moment and in that case talking with them would disturb their eating spree and thus we disturbed them greatly.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #617057

    No. Table manners isn't a defined way of consuming food. It means to follow the local tradition. The organisations nowadays follow the English culture. Not the language. The culture.
    Englishmen wear a napkin. Or a bib. Plates are medium sized. Use of knife and fork, with knife on right and fork on left hand.
    You're not supposed to make any kind of noise while eating. Spilling is out of question.

    Eating on banana leaf on the other hand is an Indian tradition. I don't think there is even a comparison here.
    Because managerial traditions are professional while religious traditions are personal. You can't drag personal traditions into business.
    That will make the majority uncomfortable.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #617077
    I agree with aditya that eating in banana leaves is the culture we have. We never use spoons and sporks in eating. But when you go to professional way there we use plates and spoons. In our culture we eat together on a table we should wait till all complete and then only we should get up to wash. We are not supposed to make any noise. The host should see that all had food sufficiently and nobody left half hungry. It is also good not to leave any food on the plate at the end..
    always confident

  • #617080
    Table manners to me is more than fine cutlery or lavish food.Table manners for me would include waiting for the kids or elders to start, pass food or serve a portion when a child or elder needs, try not to make loud noises or conversations. Don't load food into your mouth to gulp it down, not speaking with a mouthful of food or banging the cutlery. Try avoiding leaving food behind as its a waste and it can offend the hosts. If at a family function, saying a few words of appreciation about the food would be welcome. When a close group of friends or family have dinner, the guests also chip in helping with the food and clearing up the mess. If we can teach this to our children, I think many would be happy about their table manners instead of rigid postures and a false demeanor that some guests show when invited.

  • #617085
    Basic table manners are ingrained in most of us since childhood. These include what has been mentioned in some of the responses above-
    1. Not putting elbows on the table.
    2. Not making chomping, slurping and other noises while eating/drinking.
    3. Not rudely grabbing something, but asking for it politely.
    4. Not leaving the table abruptly without excusing oneself. If leaving for a valid reason, then one could return to the table till the others finish unless one has a valid reason not to do so.
    5. Helping to clear the table. Both genders should do this - why is it that the females only are expected to do so? One can also volunteer to help the hostess if one is a guest in a home which is not of family.

    I also think it is very courteous and a good gesture to wait for the hostess to be seated and let her dine along with everyone else. The lady of the house who has prepared the meal should not be considered merely as the cook-cum-serving staff. Surely everyone can wait & request her to join the group at the table before anybody begins eating. Show her respect.

    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

  • #617087
    With reference to eating food served on a banana leaf, there are some basic manners, too.
    1. First and foremost, since the food is being served to you, you should pay attention and politely refuse something which you would not eat. Do not let the servers go on piling up food items and then let it go waste, something which is typically seen at a wedding. Really sad to see the food wasted like that. This would be the same as if you were being served in a plate at home or are helping yourself from what is laid out on the table - take what you will eat for sure and only how much you would eat.
    2. Keep your elbows tucked in, whether seated at a table or on the floor.
    3. Liquids like dal and wet chutney can trickle off a banana leaf. So take a little at a time. In the case of dal, make a hole in the small mound of rice and let the dal be poured in it.
    4. When you finish the meal, fold the leaf to indicate that you have finished eating.

    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

  • #617089
    Frankly speaking, I simply detest taking food in European style. The formalities are simply too much. We can't eat comfortably. More importantly, most of the Indian foods can't be taken European style. Can any European take Hilsha fish or unripe grapefruits with forks and knives?

    So, we must not try to take Indian food in European style. And taking food from plantain leaves is very hygienic and heavenly. It improves the taste of food-items.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #617095
    Table manners is a very important etiquette that should be taught to children from the age of 3 . Children should be first taught to pray God for the meal they get and should be explained about the people who struggle to get a one-time meal and also they should be made aware that, the food they eat is from their parents hard-earned money. They should be taught not to waste the food and eat whatever food is provided. Apart from this I don't believe in the modern table manners of using spoons, napkins etc.

  • #617096
    I felt, I attended a two hour class on Table mannerism under a professor.
    I love chocolates and ice creams!

  • #617100
    According to me, table manners means the way you behave while having food and not the way you have it. Having it on a plate, banana leaf, with your hand or using cutlery purely depends on one's convenience. But messing the table with leftovers, coughing while eating which can irritate the others on the table etc is bad table manners. In my office, I know one girl, who takes curries from others. That s not a bad thing, but she dips her hand directly into the curry box. She loves non-vegetarian food but never brings that. But she takes it form others plate with the same hand with which she was eating. That really irritates me. I don't mind her taking but not with that hand. She should instead use a spoon. By seeing that itself, I do not feel like eating. That yuck feeling you give to others on the same table is what should be avoided.
    "Do not give up, things might not favour you always"

  • #617103
    Agree with you Chitra, at office, we often share the packed lunches, it is imperative that we ask and take what we want when our hands are clean. Among close friends, it doesn't matter much but in group of people working together, using hands to dip into other boxes looks odd, it's not easy also to tell the person directly.

  • #617190
    Table manners is nothing but the discipline we follow while taking our food. Why not we call it dining manners? Why not we call it as floor manners when we sit on the floor and eat. The foreigners used the table and plates and cutleries to dine while we Indians used the floors and leaves to dine with our hand.

    One should sit properly with their legs folded. We should not lean to one side and eat. The banana leaf should be laid in its right position. It should be cleaned with water first. The water should be available on its left. While taking food we should not make noise, and we should not talk unnecessarily. Take the name of the lord and thank him prior to commencing our eating. At the end, fold the leaf towards your end during the normal course, and fold it outside when we dine in an unauspicious ceremony like death to mean that you won't return to attend any such sorrowful event in that house.

    No life without Sun

  • #617191
    Your #617085- "5. Helping to clear the table. Both genders should do this - why is it that the females only are expected to do so? One can also volunteer to help the hostess if one is a guest in a home which is not of family.

    I don't think this falls under the category of table manners. It is the duty of the host to have their table cleared by themselves or by their servant. It falls under the category 'House keeping"

    No life without Sun

  • #617201
    I think table manners is all about eating without irritating the person siting next to you. We need not give importance to the European style or Indian style of dining together. Cutlery and those stuff are something which we are not used to. But, one need to behave when you are on the table. Table manners is basically part of etiquette and we need to be aware of the same. Respecting the person sitting next or across is, I feel, what table manners is all about. I would like to point out a very basic point in this connection; pass the water without interruption if someone asks for it.
    'He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.'- Elbert Hubbard.

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