Dining etiquette with overseas students at the Novotel Darling Harbour. There was a group of 25 students ranging in ages from 18 – 24. They were so enthusiastic to learn all the nuances of western table manners. It was a joy to teach them.
By the end of the class they were all eating perfectly with knives and forks, elbows tucked in against their bodies and sitting straight. This is not easy for young Chinese people. Chinese people are used to eating with chopsticks and often the men having one foot crossed over the other leg.
Some of the topics we covered were:
. Table settings
. Use of the cutlery
. The china
. How to hold a wine glass
. Use of the serviette
. How to eat the food
. Eating tricky foods
. What to do if there is a mishap
. What to do if you don’t want to eat something
. What to have on the table and what not to have on the table.
The students asked many questions during the lesson which showed they were really paying attention and enjoying the class.
Dining etiquette with overseas students at the Novotel was a rewarding experience for me. I know that many of the students already enjoy going to western restaurants to experience the wonderful food. Many of them commented that they have always felt uncomfortable in western restaurants. But they now know how to hold their knives and forks, which ones to use and how to order from the menu.
In the future many of the students will be in the workforce. They will be taken to western restaurants as part of the work, so to have learnt how to dine correctly will be a great asset. I am sure from now on they will feel very comfortable when dining in a western restaurant. And for me, this is very rewarding.