Author Topic: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate?  (Read 3839 times)

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Pen^2

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate?
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2013, 04:38:08 AM »
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that some in the Chinese culture may actually find it rude to completely clean the plate because it implies that the host has not properly provided enough food.  Is the colleague sure she is making enough to handle the appetites of 2 young people?  I remember being shocked how much my guy cousin could put away up through college.

Yeah, this has nothing to do with Chinese culture, or if anything, is against the norm in said culture. It sounds like the boys are just hungry.

Nemesis

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate?
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2013, 04:57:20 AM »
I am of Chinese descent, though not born or brought up in China.

Yes, I was brought up to understand that it is rude to leave food on your plate. Every morsel of food must be eaten, every grain of rice should be carefully scooped up and finished. Wasting food is the one thing that we can get severely punished for. Anything that I could not finish when I was a child, was finished by my dad. All my Chinese friends in the neighbourhood were brought up the same way.

When visiting, we are to finish our food, and we are not allowed to ask for seconds until all the members of the older generation had finished eating. We were, however, allowed to have seconds if someone from the older generation offers the food to us. It is considered very rude to ask, but not at all rude to accept the offer of more food.

Gyburc

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate?
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2013, 06:23:17 AM »
From a non-Chinese perspective (I'm in the UK), this was a bone of contention between my mother and my grandmother (Mum's MIL) when I was a child. Mum was born in 1939, so in her earliest years she was brought up under WW2 rationing and Austerity. She was very firmly of the view that you cleaned your plate, even if you didn't find the food massively palatable.

Gran on the other hand was a generation older, and had been brought up to believe that it was actually rude to clean your plate, particularly if you were a guest. It was polite to leave just a little at the end of the meal to indicate to your host that they had not under-served you.
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Twik

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate?
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2013, 12:14:51 PM »
I think someone on this board once told a story about a host from one culture, where you never let a guest sit in front of an empty plate without refilling it, serving a guest from a different culture, where eating everything on your plate was mandatory. The poor guest nearly exploded.
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Shabooty

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate? Update P19
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2013, 12:17:48 PM »
My colleague served family style last night to see what would  happen.  She instructed her son to wait until their two guests had served themselves before he prepared his own plate.  She then watched his eyes get big as the two boys took HUGE portions.  She was actually concerned for a second that there might not be enough left for her, her DH and son. 

The boys did, however, eat every last bite. :)

Cherry91

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate?
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2013, 12:26:26 PM »
I think someone on this board once told a story about a host from one culture, where you never let a guest sit in front of an empty plate without refilling it, serving a guest from a different culture, where eating everything on your plate was mandatory. The poor guest nearly exploded.

There was an advert for a bank that used to be shown in the UK (I don't know if it was also shown in the US) of a european businessman who was in Japan and taken out to dinner by his colleagues. They serve eel, and the businessman looks very queasy at the thought of eating it, but the voiceover tells us that European manners say he must finish it... so he does.

THEN the v/o says that in Japan, it's bad manners for a host to leave his guest's plate empty, so they bring him another plate of food with a bigger eel. Once again the man finishes and it continues from there.

The advert ends with a Kaiju of an eel being carried into the restaurant by several men.  ;D

SplishFish

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate?
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2013, 02:33:51 PM »
From a non-Chinese perspective (I'm in the UK), this was a bone of contention between my mother and my grandmother (Mum's MIL) when I was a child. Mum was born in 1939, so in her earliest years she was brought up under WW2 rationing and Austerity. She was very firmly of the view that you cleaned your plate, even if you didn't find the food massively palatable.

Similarly, my grandparents grew up in the Midwest during the Depression. They raised my mom (and she in turn raised me) with the belief that wasting food was one of the biggest non-mortal sins you could commit.

Even now that I'm in my 40s, I don't feel right if I don't clean my plate. Thankfully most restaurants let you box the leftovers, otherwise I'd explode.

Snowy Owl

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Re: Is It Rude Not To Clean Your Plate? Update P19
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2013, 03:14:12 PM »
My colleague served family style last night to see what would  happen.  She instructed her son to wait until their two guests had served themselves before he prepared his own plate.  She then watched his eyes get big as the two boys took HUGE portions.  She was actually concerned for a second that there might not be enough left for her, her DH and son. 

The boys did, however, eat every last bite. :)

In that case I would chalk it up to the boys being hungry and / or a growth spurt in the offing and she shouldn't worry (as long as there's enough food for everyone).
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