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Table Manners in Iran

lunch table in our house, summer 2013
The phrase table manners always reminds me of my English self-study books and the units about food and how we should behave while eating at a table. I must say Iranian table manners are very much like British table manners.

Like most cultures it's also bad in Iran if you talk with your mouth full, make noise, lick the plate and eat food with hands. If they're not bad in your country then I must say you're from a very different culture.

Anyway, here are some hints for you if you don't want to appear rude in front of Iranians at the table:

  1. When the food is being brought to the table wait till your host offers you to take food.
  2. It's very common over here for host to ask the guest to take food many times. This is for being polite, it doesn't literally mean you should sweep everything on the table and send down to your tummy!
  3. Please, please, please don't make slurping noise when you eat soup or any other liquid food. I've heard many Iranians complain some friends from South East Asia do that to show they've enjoyed it. That's disgusting in Iranian culture.
  4. Don't blow your nose when others are eating. In fact blowing your nose publicly is bad at any time over here.
  5. Iranians usually put a box of tissues on the table instead of table napkins. 
  6. If you want to take food more than once, you can do it without asking. It's acceptable over here.
  7. Iranians usually eat a lot at parties, so don't worry, no one will call you greedy if you've filled your plate with so much food.
  8. It's not bad to chat during dinner. I think being silent and just eating is a bit bad.
  9. In Iran people usually use spoons and forks for eating, not knives. If you want to cut meat simply put your fork in the meat and cut it with your spoon edge. 
  10. It's OK to eat your pizza with hands. I've never seen anyone using knives for eating pizza.
  11. Never complain about the food, that's really rude. My cousin says she made Kookoo Sabzi for a friend from a European country and he said a big YUCK to her face when he ate it!!!!!
  12. I've heard in some countries (I mean Muslims countries) it's bad to eat food with your left hand. Thank goodness it's not bad over here. I'm left-handed and no one ever said anything about that to me. I don't know what the heck should I do in those countries. Taking spoon with my right hand is so hard for me.
  13. After you finished eating say thank you to the host for their dinner. Don't wait till tomorrow to call them, we do it right after dinner.
That was the basics of Iranian table manners. But don't think too much about that, enjoy the food. This is what we do, we gather, laugh, eat a lot and enjoy the taste of the Iranian foods.

Comments

Arianaa30 said…
Hi there,
It's very nice to see an iranian, who is now in Iran, writing in a blog in english. hope you continue your writing...
:)
Mercedé said…
Hi,
Thanks, it was great to see an Iranian visitor on here!
Ariadni said…
Thank you for writing this comprehensive table manner manual!
I have been to Iranian houses for food and also to non-tourist restaurants, but I still haven't entirely figured out in which hand I hold my spoon (I am right-handed) and which my fork and which of the two actually "feeds" the mouth. From your text, I gather that the spoon is the feeding one? And the fork is used to assist in moving and arranging?
love from greece
Mercedé K said…
Hello,
Thanks for visiting my blog.
You can hold your spoon/fork in any hands you wants, both are OK.
Yes the spoon is the one we use for eating mainly and cut food with forks.

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