Should I Grow My Family Through International Adoption?
All Adoption Stories
There in Front of Us: A Thailand Adoption Story
Sometimes families ask, “What’s the proper etiquette when sharing a meal with orphanage staff”.
Seating: One should wait to sit until the oldest person in the group take a seat. It is a sign of respect. The seat of honor reserved for the host or oldest person, is typically facing east or facing the entrance. Others with higher status then sit in close proximity to the seat of honor, while those with lower positions sit further away. When the foods are served, it is proper to let older people take the first bite. Sometimes a host might try to serve the food to a guest by using the serving spoon or even their own chopsticks to put food right into your bowl/plate. To be respectful, just take the first offer. You may say “thank you, I will help myself later”; or “I am fine now, go ahead to help yourself.” These are better words than saying “NO, thank you”, as that will come across negatively and the host can lose face.
People are accustomed to family-style shared meals. The serving spoon is available but not popular to use. Often people will just put personal chopsticks in serving dishes. Please keep in mind that this is how people do it every day. So, please do not be surprised if this happens while you are having lunch with orphanage staff. In China, the phrase “rice bowl” has another meaning, which is “job” or livelihood. We were taught when we were young to hold the rice bowl tightly while eating, so we do not lose it. It also means “do not lose the job” so you can make a living. As a child, we would be punished if we only eat with chopsticks and did not hold the bowl.
Knives are traditionally seen as violent in China, and breakers of the harmony, so are not provided at the table. Some restaurants in China have forks available and all will have spoons. If you are not used to chopsticks, you can ask the restaurant staff to provide you with a fork or spoon.
Tea is almost always provided, either in advance of the diners being seated or immediately afterward. It can be consumed at leisure throughout the meal. (Water is sometimes served, but tea is the default beverage.) A verbal "thank you" (??; xiexie) may be offered to the server pouring the refill or, if in the middle of a conversation where it would be rude to interrupt the speaker, the table may be tapped twice with two bent fingers instead.
Expect times when people will talk with food in their mouth, or smoke during the meal. Try to accept it as it is. Chinese people may eat several courses and do so quite leisurely, however, once the meal is finished, they may immediately stand up and leave, even though you might not be finished yet. Don’t be offended, this is the normal way. If you have questions regarding what is the proper action to take, discuss with your guide/translator who is expert at navigating these matters.
If you want to explore some wonderful travel options, visit www.lotustours.net for a full array of exquisite tour choices!
Travel with the most reliable and trusted name for heritage travel. Get in on the "Early Bird" promotion for November, National Adoption month: http://www.lotustours.net/promo/index.shtml We have been "Uniting Families and Connecting Cultures" for more than 2 decades -- www.lotustours.netLearn more or contact agency 12366 SE 41st Lane Washington
It's the little practical things.... Yes those steps make an idea come to life!
Adopting our children from South Korea
How does one start?
Professional travel expert, Louie Yi, of Lotus Travel shares tips for travel
Don't be scared off by the cost of adoption
Mom pushes past comfort zone & makes the trip happen
What is the ideal time for a birth country visit?
Some timely tips for your upcoming travels