- aThe last thing to be ignored at a Chinese dinner table is to keep modest.
- bDoes that suggest diners avoid speaking much? The same is true in the West.
- aNo, alsolutely not! On the contrary, you'll be considered a well-connected, sociable man, if you keep involved in the conversation all the time. But always pay attention to what you say. If the table has a senior guest, say something as upbeat and cheerful as possible. Or maybe, you may give the floor to him and keep listening as if very interested.
- bYou mean, keeping a low profile in the presence of the old? That goes in like with Confucius' preachings, right?
- aCorrect. Show respect for the older people. Conventionally, before the meal starts, the younger members are supposed to address each one of the elderly members of the table one by one. Others are kept in waiting until the most venerable guest peoclaim the beginning of the meal and takes the first bite. Toasts also go to these men first before people can toast to each other.
- bAny other rules to observe in order to keep modest?
- aYes, plenty of them. Don't eat fast! People usually keep their dining pace accorded with others. And all the dishes should not be eaten up completely.
- bIs it because that would give the host the impression that the food was insufficient?
- aHaha, I'm afraid it's simply because no one wishes to be too noticeable by finishing off the plate.