Etiquette of Chinese Dining ~ the Taboos you must know! (2) 中国餐桌礼仪禁忌 1）Chinese believe that “good things come in twos” so it is usual to order an even number of dishes such as four dishes and a soup or six dishes and a soup (soup not being regarded as a main dish for Chinese). On no account order seven dishes because it is usual to have seven dishes at the wakes held after Chinese funerals. Even numbers are avoided at funerals and the word “qi1” sounds rather like “Qu4” (meaning “go”) in the sense of bidding farewell to the departed. 1 “ ）中国人相信 ” 好事成双 ，因此点菜时通常会点双数， ，比如：“四菜一汤”， “ ” 六菜一汤 等 “ ～ 汤”不算一道菜,
一定要避免单数 。千万不可以点七碟菜， “ 因为葬礼后的 ” 解慰酒 须有七碟菜肴, “ 以免白事成双； ” 七 “ 与 去”谐音。 2) When eating fish, do not turn it over after consuming one side of it because turning it over is symbolic of a boat capsizing and is therefore unpropitious. The right way to turn the fish over is to turn it lengthways from its head (called “reversing the head”). This is reminiscent of returning safely from the sea. Alternatively, work the remaining fish meat free from the bones starting at the tail and then place the bones on the side of the plate. I think that this is actually the most satisfactory way as the first method can be rather unwieldy to accomplish and you don’t want to splash your guests with sauce if the fish slips while you are turning it over! “ 吃鱼不翻面，因为 ” 翻鱼 象征着“ ” 翻船 “ ，是不吉利的。正确的 翻鱼”方法是： 从鱼头开始倒转一面，叫做掉头 ～ 也就是出海安全回来的意思或者从鱼的尾 巴开始，把鱼骨剔除来，放在盘子旁。本人觉得此方法比较安全可行。 3) Taboos connected with chopsticks 3) 与 子有关的禁忌： 筷 When using chopsticks make sure that you do not clatter them on your bowl while eating because this is what beggars do when they beg.
用 子吃 筷 ，避免 饭时 子碰撞 筷 碗 饭 出声音，因 发 是乞丐的做法。 这 Don’t poke your chopsticks about in the food plates trying to find your favourite tasty morsels. Not only does it suggest to Chinese people that the person doing it has not been brought up properly, but it is also considered to be symbolic of grave digging or picking up the bones remaining after cremation, so such behaviour is regarded as unpropitious. 不要拿着筷子在盘子里翻来翻去找自己爱吃的。不但这种做法会被人认为没有 “ 家教，而且像 ” 挖坟 或“ ” 捡骨头 ，不吉利。 Always remember that when taking food with your chopsticks, never drop it onto other dishes or leave a trail of sauce on the table. The best way to serve either yourself or anyone else is to use your chopsticks in one hand and a spoon in the other 。 Never lick your chopsticks. 切 菜 记夹 把菜掉在其它的 时别 中，也不要一路滴 盘 ，最 汤 当的做法是一手用 稳 子 筷 菜，一手用勺子在下面接着。 不 夹 要 子。 舔筷 Do not serve yourself from one dish after just obtaining food from another. The polite way to eat is to put your chopsticks down after eating each dish. When putting your chopsticks down, place them on the chopstick holder (if provided) or place them on the table. Do not place them together horizontal y on your plate as this signifies that you have finished eating. Nor should hosts or junior members of the dinner table ever place their chopsticks on their plates in this way until the meal is at an end because to do so may make guests think that you are hinting that the guests are either eating too much (and should therefore be stopped from eating any more!) or are eating too slowly. Do not arrange your chopsticks in the form of a cross because this equates to the cross teachers use when correcting students’ homework and also symbolizes the mark made by the emperors of old when endorsing a judgement for someone’s execution. 忌 吃 刚刚 一个菜接着又去吃 过 一个菜，中 另 不停 间 ，不配 顿 。礼貌的做法是 饭 在吃 每道菜 过 ， 时 放下 应 子。 筷 记住要把筷子放在筷子架上或桌子上，而不是 横放在盘子上，因这样做代表你用餐完毕。而主人与晚辈不能在客人与长辈用 餐完毕前把筷子横放在盘上，否则别人会觉得你在暗示他们吃得太多或太慢。 不要把筷子打叉，这等于老师给学生判作业是打的叉，也等于皇上在死刑犯案 卷上画的勾决。 Do not put chopsticks into a bowl of rice vertically because this is reminiscent of the shape of an incense burner as well as being the way a last meal was served to a prisoner due to be executed. It is also the manner in which food is symbolically served to the departed
at a funeral. 不要把筷子竖在饭里，因其形状像香炉，也像古时行刑时给死囚的最后一顿饭 及葬礼上给先人的脚尾饭。 Never point at anyone with your chopsticks – it is as taboo as “giving someone the finger” and is a big no no! “ 拿筷子指人，如同用 ” 中指 指人，是一大忌！ Last but not least: In China we have a saying : Every ten miles the customs will be different and every one hundred miles the traditions will be different. People from different countries, places and with different backgrounds will not necessarily share the same views on any particular issues, so try not to correct Chinese people in public because this may cause them to “lose face” (in other words, feel embarrassed). When you are at a gathering (particularly in a formal situation), and discover that the Chinese people in attendance are not looking straight at you or avert their gaze after looking at you, just remember that this does not mean they are not paying attention to you; rather it is because, for Chinese people, staring at someone for a long while is thought of as being an act of provocation. Of course, Chinese do sometimes stop and stare at foreigners on the street or on the underground, but that is for a different reason which I will perhaps examine in a separate blog.
最后很重要的一点： “ 中国有句俗语 十里不同风，百里不同俗”。不同国家，不 同地区，不同文化背景的人考虑同一个问题得出的结论未必一致。切忌纠正对 “ 方，以免对方 ” 丢脸 。还有，在交谈中（特别是正式场合）你会发现有些中国 客人不会正视你，或正视你一眼后又把视线转向别处，这并不代表他们不专注 于你，而是因为中国人觉得长时间直视别人是挑衅的表现。啊，至于在街上， 公交及地铁上盯 “ 着 老 ” 外 看，则另当别论! Please leave a comment as I would love to hear from you! Want more information on Chinese culture and customs? If so, please let me know and email me: firstname.lastname@example.org www.Facebook.com/gogomandarin