Table manner differences between America and Korea

Table manners play an important part in making a nice impression, and table manner can tell a lot about people’s sense of personal style. It is essential element that shows visible sign of the culture. Therefore, table manner is to make people feel comfortable – not comfortable. Since I am currently live in the United States, I will talk about brief information about American table manner versus Korean table manner.


American Table Manner

American table setting can divide by two types: formal and informal. However, the basic rules are same. The table setting includes fork, knife, plate, spoon, glass, and napkin. American table manner avoid using one fork to every dishes. For example, the salad fork is on your outermost left, followed by your main dish fork. You should start from outside utensil, and drink glasses are on your right. Don’t drink from glass that belongs to person who seat next to you. In addition, dessert spoon and fork are above your plate or brought out with dessert. While you eating, take turns during eating. Never eat directly from a serving plate. You eat only from your plate. When meal is over, the fork and knife need to place on the plate side by side.

Korean Table Manner

Korean table setting is simple compare to American. Formal and informal table setting are same, but depending on the number of side dishes, the table called by different name, for example, 3-cheop, 5-cheop, and 7-cheop. Rice, soup, a spoon and chopsticks are arranged from left to right, in order for each person. Stew and side dishes are placed in the center to be shared by all. Korean share stews and side dishes directly from serving dishes. Korean uses a spoon for rice, soup and stews. Chopsticks use for side dishes. Korean do not hold their rice bowl or plate while eating, and do not hold spoon and chopsticks at the same time. When meal is over, the spoon and chopstick need to place back down on the table. Additionally, we need to wait to eat until elderly people at the table have begun eating and picking up their utensils; also, avoid talking while eating food. Using chopstick wrong way is considered rude.


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