Dining etiquette around the world

Anyone who travels a lot will know that it’s essential to learn about the basic cultures and etiquette of that country before travelling. Many tourists will simply go on holiday without even learning basic language for that country. It’s made even worse when you’re eating somewhere and you manage to offend the waiting staff. It’s something that can be so very easily avoided, it just takes a few hints and tips to help you on your way. Below is an infographic by MyBreakTrip that looks at dining etiquette in Italy, Japan, China, France and India.


As you can see, they all differ from each other in various ways, showing just how important it is to learn about their eating traditions. In Japan, as you can see, you should never point your chopsticks at anyone. You can also see that they actually actively encourage slurping of food, as it shows the host appreciation for the meal and also improves the taste of the food. They also hardly ever expect a tip, but you should still make sure the chef is aware of your compliments!


In India it’s traditional to eat with your hands, or more specifically with your right hand. Never use your left hand to eat as this is the hand used to clean yourself with in the toilet. Although in India they offer many dishes and encourage people to share, you should never share food off of your plate (as it’s seen as unclean once it’s out of the serving dish). They also look down on those who ‘double dip’ into shared pots of sauce or chutney.


It’s easy to see how many travellers can get confused from country to country as there are some table manners that are universal to many countries and some that are extremely particular. Along with using the infographic below you can also gain the help of the internet, which is full of other travellers willing to help you out. If you’re unsure of a fact, you can always run it by tourist information centres in that country. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, good etiquette is well noticed by locals so it’s certainly worth thinking about.

Dining Etiquette Around The World

Created by My Break Trip
Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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