Table Manners for a Typical Evening Meal

1. Sit - the host will tell you where to sit, or you ask.

2. Wait for others to start eating. Many homes will pray first.

3. Family style meal - food is passed to the right.

4. Try a little of everything - do not take a Lot of anything.

5. If you do not want something, just pass it on; You do not need to say anything. If they ask, say, "It looks good, but I think I won't have any thank you."

6. Keep the table and table-cloth as clean as possible. Do not put bones or anything on the table. Things that are not eaten should be put on your plate.

7. Do not spit anything out. If there is something in your mouth that you cannot swallow, quietly put it in your paper napkin and then go on (e.g. bones, seeds, etc.)

8. Do not talk with food in your mouth! Wait until you have swallowed everything before talking.

9. Burping - don't!! It is considered rude.

10. Slurping - don't!! Drinking soup or eating noodles - be quiet.

11. When food is passed to you say, "Thank You."

12. When you would like more of some food and it is not right in front of you, say, "Please pass the green beans."

13. Do not reach across the table or in front of someone to get something - that is rude. Ask them to pass it to you.

14. If you need to leave the table to go to the bathroom or do something, say, "Excuse me for a moment, please."

15. If your hostess wants to serve you but you don't want to eat it, say, "Thank you. It looks very good, but I'm not quite used to American food yet. Maybe next time, thanks."

16. Meals are to be slow, pleasant, leisurely times. Enjoy your food, but talk too.

17. Watch how fast others are eating. Try not to be too slow or too fast - keep up with their pace.

18. When you are finished eating, say "What a delicious meal! Thank you so much." Wait for all to be finished before leaving the table.

19. Do not touch your nose, hair or teeth at the table.

20. Toothpicks - are not usually on the table in a home. After the meal, go to the bathroom and clean your teeth if you need to. In restaurants, they are usually at the counter where you pay as you go out. Again, it is best to clean your teeth in the bathroom.

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