Il comportamento a tavola mi ha sempre incuriosito. Ciò che è buon comportamento in un paese, può essere considerato offensivo in un altro: è incredibile quanto ci leghiamo ad usi e costumi tanto da credere che siano assoluti.
Una volta un amico mi raccontò che nei ristoranti cinesi (in Cina) è permesso sputare sul pavimento il cibo che non piace, cosicché, chi arriva tardi al ristorante, si trova per terra resti di cibo smangiucchiato...
Volendo trovare ulteriori informazioni, wikipedia è come sempre completa:
Vi riporto la parte afghana, piuttosto curiosa:
Afghan table manners
- The eldest should be seated as far from the door as possible, unless there are guests present, then the guests are seated farthest from the door.
- Depending on the customs of the household a prayer maybe offered before or after the meal or both before and after to God.
- Guests are offered food first, and ought to eat the most, while the hosts eat last and the least.
- Guests always refrain from eating too much, unless the hosts coaxes them to eat more. The host should always ask at least three times if the guest wants more food. The guest should say no at least three times to the host. In certain situations the host can put food on the guest's plate by force.
- Guests are always given the best portions of the food.
- Traditionally food should be eaten with bare hands; However, cutlery is sometimes provided. Only use your right hand when eating with your hands. There are proper ways of picking up rice and other loose food without spilling any, which one should learn and practice. Wasting food is frowned upon. When cutlery is provided it is usually a spoon and fork since there is seldom need for the use of a knife when eating Afghani food. Even when cutlery is provided it is acceptable to eat with your hands interchangeably.
- Soup is eaten by soaking bread in it.
- Food remnants should be collected with bread. (dicesi anche scarpetta)
- Sometime it is common to eat collectively from one plate. One should always eat from one's own side.
- If eating on a table and bread is dropped on the floor the bread should picked up and kissed and put to one's forehead before putting back somewhere other then the floor. If eating on the floor make sure that your feet do not touch the food.
- Compliments to the chief are customary; however, compliments should be returned with extreme modesty.
- Traditionally, service during dinner is performed by the youngest. First, water is brought in a jug with a saucer to wash the hands. The food is then served. This may be followed by fruit and then tea.
- Tea is served after dinner, with dried fruits, sweets, and sugar cubes. When tea is served, the cup of a guest must never be empty, and snacks must be offered. Once the guest has finished drinking tea, the guest can flip their tea cup over to signal that they are done.
- Going to the bathroom to wash one's hands is accepted.
- Eating with one's mouth full is looked down upon.
- Even if one is starving one should refrain from being over zealous at the table. This is shameful.
- Passing wind is not tolerated. If one passes wind the consequences can be a severe blow to one's pride.
- One must never sit with one's back to anyone, especially an elder or a guest. One must never sit with feet stretched out toward anyone, especially an elder or a guest.
- One must always be polite and gracious to the host. Remember if the host is poor and had only one chicken which the family used for eggs that chicken would be sacrificed for the guest.
- After eating, the jug of water is brought out again to wash hands. A towel may be provided.