Talk:Customs and etiquette in Chinese dining

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Added pictures from other pagesEdit

I added pictures from other wikipedia pages so I don't think there are copyright issues; at least, not on the parts I could read on the photos. (talk) 16:39, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Added referencesEdit

91011 12

Specifically Ref. 11 has information on page 164 forwards. Ref. 12 has information from page 69-71 Kelidimari (talk) 13:25, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Misleading ArticleEdit

I'm an American living in Hubei, China, and in my many experiences eating out with Chinese people, I have never observed them following any of the rules of etiquette described in this article. The article should probably clarify that most of these rules are extremely formal/traditional and not commonly practiced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:07, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

You have to look at it like in America. Seriously there are tons of rules and manners in the west but do we follow them to the dot? Hell no. It's just there so you know what not to do not so much how much you have to do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 22 May 2012 (UTC)
There is a distinct difference between ordinary table manners, which are practiced at a restaurant, and formal dining by invitation at a person's home. There are books about the latter kind, written hundreds of years ago, that discuss, for example, seating of guests, behavior of servers and diners, and the end of the meal, after which "drinking without measure" is then acceptable. This article conflates the two in some ways and I agree that it is misleading to some extent. Wastrel Way (talk) Eric

In fact there are no rules about how to eat, so I don't think "rule" is the correct word. "perception" is a more correct word. I have noticed something very strange: In America, one is supposed to put the other hand down on the knee when eating with only a fork, while one in China, however, is supposed to always put both hands upon the table, even in exceptional cases when eating without holding the bowl. According to the article, eating with just one hand upon the table, like American people eating with only the fork, is traditionally perceived as rude table manners by some unknown reason. However, I think this ridiculous perception shall have faded away in modern time. The Mao regime did several attempts to restrict the practice of so-called traditional etiquette (however, it is unknown exactly which types of etiquette they attempted to restrict), but the most Chinese people seem to have failed to follow these restrictions, as it is still relatively common that Chinese parents force their children to, for example, put both hands upon the table while eating. However, I don't think it's right at all to force anyone, and I think parents who are doing so are retarded. My mum never forced me to put both hands upon the table while eating. When I asked her if it's bad table manners to eat with just one hand upon the table, she told me that "It is OK to eat with only one hand upon the table in some exceptional cases, but NOT always". I agree with the perception that I'm not absolutely forced to always put both hands upon the table; I think eating with just one hand upon the table shall be OK at least when eating without holding the bowl. I don't think one is absolutely forced to ALWAYS hold the bowl while eating. (talk) 15:43, 24 July 2020 (UTC)

Does someone have photos of pretty gong kuai?Edit

There are tons and tons of photos on gong kuai. However, cannot post em because I don't have the copyrights to them. I am cheap and don't have pretty decorative gong kuai. T__T Nor do I have the very long type. So, my gong kuai are basically just the same as regular, except how I use them during a meal.

But below are pictures that I'm hoping someone has something similar to and can post in the gong kuai section. The pictures below are not for loading, don't load them into wiki, I have not a durn clue how to get in contact with their owners and though I tried posting, I don't think they speak English or pinyin. o_O'

But, does someone have something like this, that they own the copyrights to, and wouldn't mind posting? Kelidimari (talk) 18:55, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Does someone have the citations on gan-bei stuff?Edit

You know when people do little speeches then do the gan-bei thing? I know it happens, I know there are certain circumstances, but I don't have any books on it. I don't think there are books on it; I googled it but it kept bringing up scallops. -_-'

Also, despite common misconception, there are actually some the red bean and rice soup? And the dan-ta stuff, and almond tofu. Anyone have stuff they can add to those segments?

Thanks guys! Kelidimari (talk) 19:18, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Sure. I'll toss those in there. Thanks. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:32, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Grammar, How-to, Original researchEdit

I did some copyediting of a couple paragraphs in this article. There's more to be done and I encourage any editors who feel like jumping in to please do so. I consider my edits a first pass, so feel free to improve on them as needs be. I'm seeing some citations here and there, but the article strikes me as being pretty heavy on original research (or really, first-hand knowledge by someone familiar with the subject for whom English may not be a first language), and it has what I'd consider a lot of how-to in it as well. I'll try to keep working on it, but as I said, I encourage others to join in as well. --some jerk on the Internet (talk) 17:41, 27 June 2011 (UTC)


The scope of this article includes place settings, courses served (which I will add any second), gan bei, etc. So, table manners is just a part, and is integrated throughout this article. So, I suggest moving it to some name that is all encompassing, like Chinese dining or something. Thoughts? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 23:32, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

Okay. I added some more content with manners and dining protocol, procedure, and details. Now the title really doesn't match. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:18, 16 April 2012 (UTC)


And then make a whole whack of redirects. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:29, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Reorganizing sectionsEdit

How about this?

  • History
  • Table and place settings
  • Courses
  • Snacks
  • Beverages
  • Main dishes
  • Soup
  • Dumplings, noodles, or baozi
  • Dessert
  • Dining
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Kan Pai/Gan Bei
  • Etiquette and customs
  • Inviting guests
  • Seating
  • Lazy Susan
  • Chopstick usage
    • Gong Kuai (Chinese:* 公筷)
    • Immortal Guiding (Chinese:* 仙人指路)
    • Three Long Two Short (Chinese:* 三長兩短)
  • Taboos in using a teapot
  • Toothpick etiquette
  • The bill
  • See also
  • References

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 01:46, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Needs ChangingEdit

In most dishes in Chinese cuisine, food is cooked in bite-sized pieces and easy to hold and eat.

The size of the food is more to do with cooking than eating. Asian cuisines usually cook the basic food item with the sauces so the flavors sink directly into it. More surface area = more exposure to sauces. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:04, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

Toothpick Etiquette: "Unlike the West..."Edit

I wouldn't say that. In Germany for example they do it the very same way. Maybe it is rather "unlike America" or something like that. -- (talk) 07:41, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

How's that? :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:30, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I have noted that some things are different between China and America. For example, in America one is supposed to eat with only one hand upon the table when eating with only the fork while eating without both hands upon the table, however, is perceived as rude in Chinese traditional etiquette. I don't know why that's perceived as rude, but I think this ridiculous perception shall have faded away in modern time. According to the article, the Maoist regime did several attempts to "restrict" traditional practises, but most Chinese people seem to have failed to follow the "restrictions".

I have learnt that one is supposed to hold the chopsticks in one hand and hold the bowl with the other hand, or when not doing so at least put the hand upon the table. However, my mum who is a Chinese has told me it is not absolutely wrong to eat with only one hand upon the table. Eating with the other hand placed down on the knee is OK in some exceptional cases, but NOT always, or is she wrong? (talk) 14:15, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

Both hand on the table?Edit

Is there any reliable source to the claimed information that both hands are supposed to be put upon the table in Chinese dining? I don't think this claimed information has any reliable source.

The reason to the etiquette "both hands on the table" is probably that one is supposed to hold the chopsticks in one hand and with the other hand hold the bowl, or in exceptional cases when eating without holding the bowl at least put the hand upon the table. Some wiki-user has claimed that "eating with just one hand upon the table is perceived as rude", but not explained why. I think this claim needs an explanation how the table manner with only one hand on the table may be perceived as "rude" and by which reason; without any proper explanation this claim is most likely untrue.

Besides that, I don't think this table manner shall be perceived as rude any longer, as the Mao regime has attempted to curtail social practises. Therefore I have added a sentence to the claim that eating with just one hand upon the table is perceived as rude, and the new added sentence is the following: "However, the prejudices that these table manners are "rude" are fading away...". (talk) 16:03, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

  • I see speculation and value judgement. If you never lived in a Chinese community nor studied Chinese culture, your speculation is not very trustworthy, and it's not your place to judge my culture. Besides, a value judgement does not change the fact. --Yel D'ohan (talk) 23:24, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

Yel D'ohan (talk · contribs), do you think what I've written about the claim "eating with just one hand upon the table is perceived as rude" is fake news or a fabrication? As you see, I've added an addendum sentence where it's written "However, the prejudices that these table manners are "rude" are fading away..."; is there any evidence that this is a fabrication? This may be true in consideration of the attempts to curtail traditional social practises. According to this article, the Mao regime attempted to curtail social practises (however, it's not mentioned which types of practises). (talk) 21:13, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

Moving some etiquette bullet points from the Chopsticks article over hereEdit

I've been overhauling the Chopsticks article lately. The Chinese etiquette section contains a large number of bullet points some of which are really dining etiquette. I am just going to paste the entire bullet list into this talk section first, before I trim the list over there. I don't want to lose any useful information in the process. Someone should take these bullets and incorporate them into this article.

  • When eating rice from a bowl, it is normal to hold the rice bowl up to one's mouth and use chopsticks to push or shovel the rice directly into the mouth.
  • It is acceptable to transfer food to closely related people (e.g. grandparents, parents, spouse, children, or significant others) if they are having difficulty picking up the food. Also, it is a sign of respect to pass food to the elderly first before the dinner starts. Often, family members will transfer a choice piece of food from a dish to a relative's bowl as a sign of caring. A variation of this is to transfer the food whilst using one's own bowl as a support, underneath the food and chopsticks to keep food from falling or dripping, then transferring from there to a relative's bowl.
  • It is poor etiquette to tap chopsticks on the edge of one's bowl; beggars make this sort of noise to attract attention.[1][2]
  • Holding chopsticks incorrectly will reflect badly on a child's parents, who have the responsibility of teaching their children.
  • It is impolite to spear food with a chopstick. Anything too difficult to be handled with chopsticks is traditionally eaten with a spoon.
  • It is considered poor etiquette to point rested chopsticks towards others seated at the table.[3]
  • Chopsticks should not be left vertically stuck into a bowl of rice because it resembles the ritual of incense-burning that symbolizes "feeding" the dead and death in general. This is also discouraged in South Korea and Japan.[4]
  • Traditionally, everyone would use their own chopsticks to take food from the dishes to their own bowl, or to pass food from the dishes to the elders' or guests' bowls. Today usually only in restaurants or gatherings with non-family guests present, serving chopsticks (公筷, "community-use chopsticks") are used. These are used to take food directly from serving dishes; they are returned to the dishes after one has served oneself. Due to better education regarding sanitary eating practices, many families are adopting this practice at private meals as well. Alternately, they can be left stationary on the table, especially in front of the host at the head of the table, so that the host can politely serve his honored guests on his left and right (and so they can serve him in return) without using their eating chopsticks. [citation needed]
  • When seated for a meal, it is common custom to allow elders to take up their chopsticks before anyone else.
  • Chopsticks should not be used upside-down; it is considered acceptable to use them inverted to stir or transfer the food from another plate (which the person does not intend to consume completely). This method is used only if there are no serving chopsticks.[citation needed]
  • One should not "dig" or "search" through food for something in particular. This is sometimes known as "digging one's grave" or "grave-digging" and is extremely poor form.[citation needed]
  • When taking food from a communal serving dish, one's chopsticks should not pass over someone else's chopsticks, hand, or arm; the diner should either take food to the side or wait.
  • When taking food from a communal serving dish, it is done with the palm uppermost, as it is considered rude to show one's knuckles to dining companions.


  1. ^ "Difference". Archived from the original on 2012-07-21. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  2. ^ "Pandaphone". Pandaphone. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  3. ^ "Chinese Chopsticks". p. 4. Archived from the original on 2012-04-28. Retrieved 2012-02-05.
  4. ^ "Manners in the world". 오마이뉴스. 2017-09-05. Retrieved 2018-04-13.