Monday, January 21, 2013

Japanese Eating Etiquette

I haven't even been here a week and already I'm realizing how just culturally rich a country Japan is. Rather than let their customs and traditions fall by the wayside, as people of many places around the world often do, the Japanese seem to cling proudly to theirs. I have observed many customs that appear to remain very much an important part of every day life here, especially when it comes to eating. These are a few must-dos when it comes to dining in Japan:

Before you begin eating (or even drinking tea) it's polite to say itadakimasu. It's an expression similar to 'bon app
├ętit' or saying grace; essentially a way of showing gratitude before digging in.

Horizontal Chopsticks
Sticking your chopsticks in your rice standing upright or laying them down in your bowl haphazardly are big no-nos. When they are positioned in this way they resemble burning incense, which are always present at funerals and remind people of death. When you have finished eating you should always lay your chopsticks horizontally on your bowl.

Slurping is A-OK
I hate that at restaurants in Canada I can never slurp the last bit of whatever delicious thing I am eating. Luckily here in Japan it's 100% acceptable to slurp to your heart's content. Awesome.

The right way to place your chopsticks!

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