Eating habits: sharing saliva

East meet West_Verschil

With a Chinese background I am used to sharing food. During dinner there are a lot of dishes in the middle of the table and everyone can just grab the stuff they want to eat. That is also why you see a lot of round tables in Chinese restaurants, that makes it much easier for everyone to reach the middle. People will use their own chopsticks to take food from the plates, so you will also share saliva with other people.Saliva

When I go to a French restaurant I will pick my own dish and only eat from my own dish. I also have a bazillion forks, knives and wineglasses, which is just wasting dish wash water.
You don’t share your food with your companions. What is mine, is mine. What is yours, is yours. And you don’t share any saliva!East meet West_NoSaliva

I was wondering why there is this eating difference and this reminded me of the culture lessons about Geert Hofstede. Asians are usually more communical, is that a word?


Well they spread saliva among each other during eating… But what I mean is, they are more of groups. Western people are more individual. I checked it on Geert Hofstede’s website and yes I remembered correct: French scores 71 in individualism and China scores 20.

So can I then conclude that countries which have low individualism, so are more about groups, that they will share their food with each other? And share saliva.

East meet West_society&eating

I should actually compare all the individualism of countries, plus their eating habits to be really sure of my conclusion. But meh, maybe some other time. This was a nice topic to think about.

What is your eating habit in your country and does it match with the individualism of your country?

3 thoughts on “Eating habits: sharing saliva

  • This is interesting. I’m a filipina and there is this tradition where we all eat from banana leaves and there are many kinds of finger foods like eggplants, eggs, tuna, fish, then rice in the middle of everything. It’s just amazing. 🙂

    • Wow, that sounds cool! I also want to write something about utensils, but sometimes you also eat with your hands.. Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

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