World’s Most Unexpected Table Manners

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France
Description

Never cut the lettuce in salad because it's considered rude. Salads in France (and many other European countries) are meant to be folded up and eaten with a fork, not cut. 

Credit

Flickr/SliceOfChic

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Mexico
Description

Good news for the tardy! It is considered inappropriate to arrive early or on time in most social circumstances. Always aim to be about 30 minutes late.

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Flickr/marbla

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Bulgaria
Description

Don't bring yellow flowers to your host as a gift. In Bulgaria, they symbolize hatred.

Credit

Flickr/mastino0100

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England
Description

Always eat your banana with a knife and fork. This custom dates back to the late 19th century, when a banana was viewed as an exotic treat.

Credit

Flickr/Sergio Russo

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Russia
Description

Being disrespectful to bread (i.e. throwing it) is considered a sin.

Credit

Flickr/David Robert Wright

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Germany
Description

In Germany, it is rude to cut potatoes with a knife. Instead, the Germans smash potatoes with their fork to allow more room for gravy.

Credit

Flickr/fogindex

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Japan and Korea
Description

Tipping after your meal has long been considered offensive to the Japanese, who think of getting tips as similar to begging. As more Westerners travel throughout Japan, though, this custom is becoming a little more lax.

Credit

Flickr/cafemama

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Austria
Description

Make sure to make eye contact with every person you clink glasses with during toasts. If you don't, they're convinced you'll incur seven years of bad sex.

Credit

iStock/webphotographeer

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Morocco
Description

You can throw bones or other inedible parts from your meal onto the table, if the table is covered with plastic.

Credit

Flickr/Steve Snodgrass

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Tanzania
Description

In Tanzania, it is rude to drink beer straight from the bottle. The beer must be poured into a glass.

Credit

Flickr/Landfeldt

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Italy
Description

When it comes to pasta — and pasta only — don't wait for everyone to be served before eating; dig right in once you're served. For other dishes, you must wait until everyone receives their food.

Credit

Flickr/su-lin

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France
Description

When eating, it is always polite to have both hands visible. Otherwise, guests will assume you are playing with the legs of your dinner companions.

Credit

Flickr/j.o.h.n. walker

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Portugal
Description

Never bring wine to a hostess. It is considered an insult.

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Flickr/toddreynolds

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Egypt
Description

Salting food is considered an insult in Egypt. The person cooking your meal intended for the food to taste like that.

Credit

Flickr/tessi_re

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Kagoro Tribe, Nigeria
Description

Women aren't allowed to eat with a spoon.

Credit

Flickr/trixieskips

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Egypt
Description

It's customary to keep pouring tea into a cup until it spills over into the saucer.

Credit

Flickr/~dgies

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Afghanistan
Description

Only eat with your right hand. Guests eat first and are seated farthest from the door. If bread falls onto the floor, you should pick it up, kiss it, and then raise it to your forehead before putting it back own.

Credit

Wikimedia/Zlerman

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France
Description

Never doggy bag your meals. Either eat all of it at the restaurant or leave it.

Credit

Flickr/roboppy

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Mongolia
Description

If offered vodka, first flick a few drops in the air, "into the wind" (to the side), then on the floor. Then, touch your forehead with your finger and drink.

Credit

Flickr/darwin Bell

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Japan
Description

Make sure you slurp your udon noodle soup — they consider it the best way to make sure you're getting all the flavors of the soup in every bite.

Credit

Flickr/roboppy

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Russia
Description

Drinking vodka is part of everyday life, and not drinking is actually offensive.

Credit

Flickr/CptCook