Have you ever been accused of eating like a thief? Madness you say? Maybe not!
A friend here just told me about this experience. Eating here is different from what those in the States would expect. I can safely say that most Americans would be somewhat offended and find the nationals here rude. Why? Well, generally speaking, everyone here likes to eat with their mouths open. You can here the sound of the food being chewed up. You may well be able to SEE it being chewed up. Westerners, you’re probably thinking how disgusting and uncultured this is, right?
This is what a national actually said to this friend of mine at one time. She’s North American and she’s used to how people eat here. It doesn’t bother her. But she eats as a westerner would – mouth closed and quietly. This is what was said: “You eat like you’ve just stolen the food!”. That’s right! This is west meets east friends!
You see, eating loudly shows your appreciation of the food! Lot’s of “mmm!” sounds help as well. By eating quietly we make it seem as if we don’t want anyone to know we are eating, as if we are hiding something. It’s like we’ve stolen the food and don’t want to get caught. Interesting, eh?
So next time you’re eating with some friends in China, atleast try and make a little noise to show your appreciation of the food, okay? 🙂