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Table Manners in Indonesia – How to Act

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Table manner is the rules of etiquette that are used when people eat their foods at dining table. Table manner also include the appropriate use of cutleries and utensils. Different cultures might come with different rules when it came to table manner.

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When you travel to certain countries, you might find that in some cultures, the table manner might be so different than the table manner that you usually use. This article will give you some insights about table manners in Indonesia.

The Etiquettes and Manners on Dining Table

If you can show etiquettes at dining table, basically you have indirectly shown your social capabilities, intellectualities, and association etiquettes. Table manners are not formed instantly. The quality of table manners should be shaped since childhood and teens. With everyday habit of applying table manners, the process of learning will give better results.

When table manners are formed instantly, it will create table manners that are inflexible and clumsy. When someone is invited to a famous restaurant or formal dinner with tables that are set specifically, then he/she should follow the good table manner.

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General Rules in Table Manner

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Each country has different table manners. However, there are several general rules that always can be found in any forms of table manners. These rules are including:

  1. Eating with closed mouth when you chew your foods.
  2. Talking in low volume of voice.
  3. Closing your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  4. Don’t lean your back to the seat back.
  5. Don’t create noise when you chew your foods.
  6. Don’t fiddle your foods with the utensils.
  7. Don’t mock or tell someone that he/she has bad table manners.
  8. Don’t fold your hands when you’re at dining table.
  9. When you want to leave the table, you should ask permission to the host.
  10. Don’t stare at someone else’s eyes when he/she is eating.
  11. Don’t talk on your telephone when you’re at dining table. If you have to answer the phone, ask permission to the host to leave the table and answer the phone. When you back at the table, you should apologize as well.
  12. Don’t make a noise when you sip the soup.
  13. Put the fork on the left side and knife on the right side together on your plate with the sharp side of the knife facing inwards. This indicates you have finished your meal.
  14. The napkin that is prepared on the table is not for use.
  15. Don’t wipe your nose using the napkin. The napkin that is prepared for you is only for wiping your mouth.
  16. Don’t pick foods from someone else’s plate and don’t ask for foods from someone else’s plate as well.
  17. Swallow the foods that you chew before you drink.
  18. Don’t use your finger to pick the foods that are left on your teeth. Use the toothpick instead.
  19. Try to taste all the foods that are served.
  20. Offer the drinks to someone who sits beside you when you pour the drinks to your glass.
  21. Leave a little bit of your foods when you don’t want or can’t finish the foods.
  22. Wait for any order to start eating the foods that are served.
  23. Adding the seasoning after you sample the foods is considered rude..
  24. Except you eat at the restaurant, don’t as the waiter to take your plate unless the dinner is finished and don’t do this when you are invited to formal dinner.
  25. Never forget one basic thing. Don’t forget to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ every time.

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Traditional Table Manners in Indonesia

There are some Indonesian Etiquette. In some occasions, you might eat your foods using traditional table manners that only can be found in Indonesia. These table manners that are related with Indonesian custom are still very strong in Indonesia, especially when you attend traditional events or ceremonies.

For example, table manners that are applied when you came to events or ceremonies that use Javanese custom. If you eat with Javanese table manners, every move, saying, and attitude that you show should be noticed. When you came to family dinner in Indonesia, the seats are provided for most respected persons or the elders. If the elders don’t take a seat, other people who attend the dinner are not allowed to be seated. The dinner will also star after the elders start to eat. You are also not allowed to make noise when you chew your foods as well.

See also : Bird of Paradise – Indonesian National Flower

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Cutleries are Used in Indonesia

Talking about table manners in Indonesia, it’s basically a combination of general table manners and the traditional table manners that are applied in Indonesia. Different occasion might use different table manner.

For example, when you attend traditional events such as traditional wedding ceremony, you will use traditional table manner. But when you are invited to formal dinner by your colleagues, you will use general table manners instead.

Unlike in western countries where people usually eat using fork and knife, In Indonesia, most people eat using spoon and fork. Some people even eat using their hand, especially when they eat in traditional ceremonies. Generally, the cutleries that are used in Indonesian table manners are including:

  1. Spoon and fork

Spoon and fork are the most common cutleries that are used in Indonesian table manners. Eating your foods using spoon and fork is considered a common thing in Indonesia. You hold the spoon using your right hand and the fork on your left hand. You can use the spoon to pick the foods from your plate and the fork can be used to skew the foods or to help you pick the foods to your spoon.

If you are eating noodles, you can use the fork to twist the noodles and eat the noodles after that. You also can use the fork to lift the noodles from the bowl or plate and put the noodles on your spoon before you eat them.

The most difficult thing to do when you eat using spoon and fork is when you eat meat with quite large size such as steak. If you eat steak using spoon and fork, the best thing that you can do is skew the fork to hold the meat on your plate and you use the tip of your spoon to make a small cut from the steak. This is quite difficult sometimes, especially when the meat is tough.

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  1. Fork and knife

If you eat in restaurant or if you are invited to formal dinner in Indonesia, you might eat using fork and knife. Basically, table manners that are applied when you eat using fork and knife are not too different than general table manners that are applied internationally. You put the fork on your left hand and the knife on your right hand. Use the fork to skew the steak and use the knife to cut the steak into smaller pieces. After you cut the steak, you can skew the smaller cut using your fork and then eat it.

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3. Chopsticks

On several occasions, you might be required to eat your foods using chopsticks. You use the chopsticks with your right hand. Both sticks are on your right hand and you use it to pick the foods from the plate or the bowl and eat your foods using the chopsticks.

  1. Eating foods using your hand

You also may eat your foods using hand as well in Indonesia. This technique is considered as a common thing in Indonesia and many restaurants that allow you to eat your foods using your hand. You eat with your right hand.

Before you start eating, you can wash your hand on sink. Some restaurants might provide a small bowl of water that you can use for washing your hand before you eat. You should not use your left hand when you eat using your hand. If you eat something that is watery such as soup, you still need to use spoon.

These are several table manners adapted in Indonesia.

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Kategori : Socio Cultural