It’s a small, small world.
With rapid industrialisation and several technological revolutions, the world’s more connected than ever. Now, we can instantly communicate with friends, family, and partners, without having to wait several days – or weeks – for a letter to come through our door.
Yet, if we open our eyes and take it all in, we’re able to appreciate how diverse this third rock from the sun truly is.
For all globalisation has done to ‘shrink’ the world, cultural differences remain as rigid, fascinating, and thriving as ever.
Things that set us apart allow us to step back and appreciate the habits and customs of others. Be it language, food, music, or fashion, the world is more different than we think.
If you’re lucky enough to travel and see a fraction of it, you’ll know that you can experience extreme cultural variation after only hopping over a country’s border.
And one area you’ll find this is in food culture.
We’re talking about weird and wonderful table manners all over the world at Plyvine today.
Table manners are funny social codes that exist when we come to dine. And, depending upon circumstances, completely dictate how we behave in front of our peers around the table.
Here in the UK, we have our usual, more formal ones: no belching, no slurping, no elbows, and no mobile phones.
And definitely not eating with your fingers.
But we also have some more odd, unwritten social codes, such as feeling the need to refrain from eating when you’re the first guest to receive their plate.
The British, after all, are often viewed as apologetic and self-deprecating – and this is reflected right back in our cultures and values around the table.
Committing any one of our table manner crimes will land you in a disastrous situation in public, as guests do nothing but stare, tut, and shake their heads towards your direction.
Slurp your food in Japan, however, or eat with your fingers in Mexico, and nobody will bat an eyelid.
What dining faux pas will pull you up on your next trip abroad? Take a look at our infographic to find out.