In homes, food is usually passed around the table and each person serves themselves
If you don’t want one of the dishes being passed, simply don’t take any and pass it to the next person.
“In China, people usually follow a strict seating rule during a family dinner. If all family members are seated at a rectangular table, the hosts/hostesses and/or the senior members of the family usually sit at the far edges of the table in order to show their respected identity. Also, nobody should start eating before the senior members do. However, when I came to the United States three years ago, I found out that people here do not follow a specific set of seating rules at all. Most of the dining tables here are round and dinner participants can sit wherever they want to regardless of their identities or the shape of tables. When the hosts announce the beginning of the dinner, people start to pass the food containers around the circle. In this way, regardless of age, everybody sitting on the table can get their food whenever the container is passed to their hands. Whenever the person has food in his/her plate, he/she can start eating without having to wait until everyone gets their food.
Adjusting to this part of American culture always seems hard to me. Now, when I come over to someone’s house for a dinner, I usually observe how other people act on the table before taking actions. Since different households run under different rules, being an observant guest really helps you fit into a new environment and gain respect sdc.com from others”. (Chubo “Tony” Peng, China)
“Eye contact is very important here, especially in a formal setting. It shows that you are paying attention to a speaker or to your speaking partner. I went to an internship fair at the main campus a month after I began my study here. It was a very big fair and of course, it was very formal. I talked to many recruiters. (more…)