9 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Dining in Different Cultures

The most exciting thing about traveling is experiencing different customs and traditions in various countries.


In each country there are special customs. For example, people in Taiwan have a custom of waiting for older people to start eating before they can eat, or avoiding chopsticks straight into the rice bowl,… Here are 9 things you should know to avoid confusion when visiting different countries.

9 điều cần tránh khi dùng bữa trong văn hóa ẩm thực các quốc gia - 1

1. Portugal

When dining in Portugal, if there is no salt or pepper shaker on the table, it is best not to ask for it, as it is an offense to the host or chef, as well as meaning that you think their food is not good.

2. France

We are used to eating bread as an appetizer when eating Western food, but this is not true in France, where the French eat bread as part of the main course rather than an appetizer.

3. India

Never use your left hand to pick up food, as the left hand is considered unclean. This right-handed eating habit is also common in Morocco and the Middle East.

4. Russia

If someone invites you to drink vodka, it is best not to refuse, as drinking vodka is a symbol of friendship and trust in Russia. Also, it is important to note that the custom here is to drink vodka with a piece of bread, and you should sip and eat it slowly. Additionally, when dining in Russia, remember not to put your hand under the table, but place it on the edge of the table to show respect.

5. Ethiopia

Eating from separate bowls is a custom in Ethiopia. They often place food in a large dish and everyone takes food directly from the dish using their hands.

6. Thailand

Thai people eat with a spoon and fork, not combining dishes but eating each dish in turn.

7. Mexico

When eating burritos (a traditional Mexican dish), many people have the habit of using a knife and fork because they are afraid of dirty hands, but if in Mexico, you should only use your hands to eat burritos. Eating burritos locally with a knife and fork will look clumsy and even comical.

9 điều cần tránh khi dùng bữa trong văn hóa ẩm thực các quốc gia - 2

8. Nepal

When dining in Nepal, guests should not proactively pick up food but wait for the host to invite them before starting. And if there are others at the table who have not finished eating, others should not leave their seats at will.

9. Chile

Unlike some countries where it is common to eat food directly with hands, Chileans consider this to be a rude custom, even if it is a small part of fried food like french fries, they will still use a knife and fork to eat.

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