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The Unspoken Rule of Asian Dining Etiquette

The custom of waiting for everybody to be seated on the table and have their food served before eating is a deep part of Asian culture.

There are various reasons why such norms are considered sacred in different Asian cultures though it has always been thought that it is done to show respect and courtesy to others, giving off the impression of solidarity. Others have just become used to the tradition.

If you’re a human being who’s had lunch with another person on at least one occasion, you know exactly what I’m talking about: the unspoken, implied expectation to wait for your lunch buddy’s food to arrive before eating, as both of you engage in a pointless session of etiquette gymnastics.

Now, this doesn't apply to all situations and there are cases when it is fine to go ahead and dig in before everyone else. But, for the most part, we try to uphold that unspoken rule.

(Image credit: Avel Chuklanov/Unsplash)


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