I believe the Chinese food is famous around the world. And the first thing when the students from Miracle Mandarin come to China is eating!
And if you are asked by your Chinese friend to a dinner, you may want to know how to pick up your seat at the table and what is the proper way to sit at the table. If you don’t know that, let Miracle Mandarin tell you!
Well, normally this seat is the seat for the host or the hostess. The seat is facing the door of the room.
One may also distinguish the seats at the table from the style in which the napkins are folded. Regardless of how the napkins are arranged.，the tallest arrangement will always correspond to the master seat.
At the small table, a table for four of five, the seat right across of the host seat, the seat over there, the back of which is facing the door is the seat for the main guest.
But usually of course, when it’s a bigger table, a table for ten or twelve, and it is not easy for host or hostess talking with the main guest, right across the table like right across the ocean and they can just sit side by side which can make it easier for them to talk.
And on the table I suppose you have noticed that there is something like this, it’s a smaller table on the big table.
And I suppose you call it lazy Susan. And you can say it in Chinese “zhuan pan”.
Yeah, this can make things easier for us. Because in the Chinese way of having food，we don’t order our own food.
We order for everybody and everybody shares the food on the table.
And usually we can have each of the people at the table to order one of the dishes.
So what if something I want is on the other side of the table, for instance if I want the chicken, so I can turn the lazy Susan and turn the chicken to my side.
I can just pick it up without standing up and reaching out which is not proper or polite in Chinese table manner.And of course when someone else picks the dishes you are not gonna turn the table at that time, turn lazy Susan at that time.
Most Chinese people have the tradition of making toasts at banquets.
The order on the toast may be based on age from the eldest to the youngest by social position from high to low, or by guest status from principal to secondary.
Only if the individual proposes the toast in a correct and reasonable manner, would the toast be well received and appreciated.
One may propose a toast at any time throughout the meal, and making several toasts to one person is acceptable as well.
If the guests’ glasses are less than half full, the host will help refill glasses for them.
The order in which this takes place is similar to that of proposing toasts, placing those of higher social status first.
When people make a toast to a person superior, they usually make sure that rim of their glass clinks at position lower than rim of the other person’s glass, which expresses respect and modesty.
To show good hospitality, the host usually urge the guest to eat more.
For children, relatives or close friends, they will even serve the dishes themselves.
The guests are supposed to accept the serving and kindly show their appreciation.
Even if they do not like the particular dish, they do not refuse the serving as simply accept it and leave it at side of their plate.
Eating in the restaurant in China, tips are not necessary.
If you want to learn more Chinese culture and Mandarin, please continue to pay attention to our blog.