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‘How do we eat our soup? We skim our spoon delicately across its surface, as if we were sending a ship out to sea, then bring it to our lips and silently sip.’ Marjabelle Young Stewart, Commonsense Etiquette, 1999

Pretty Soup

Not so fast Marjabelle Young Stewart! When we talk about table etiquette we are talking about rules that do not picnic blanket the entire human population. Rather, they govern a particular society or portion of a society according to the norms and conventions established therein.  So, to put it simply, while I may think it improper to slurpity slurp my soup, the Japanese man sitting next to me may feel quite the opposite. He may be wondering what about the soup was so off putting that it evoked such sipping silence, as slurping in Japan typically indicates approval and appreciation for what is being eaten. Read the rest of this entry »

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