By: Lauren Findlow
At a recent dim sum lunch with my coworkers, I learned more about table etiquette and do’s and don’ts when it comes to more traditional dining. You begin the meal with a moist cloth to clean your hands with, and then move onto sipping hot tea. My coworkers continually replenished my cup when it was low, as a sign of hospitality. When someone is pouring you tea you should tap on the table next to your cup to signal to them that they should continue pouring, and cease tapping when you want them to stop pouring you tea. Since I was not aware of this, they just continued to fill my cup full each time. Interestingly enough they don’t use chopsticks when eating rice, typically they place the rice in a small bowl and use a soup-like spoon to eat it with. I was shocked because even when eating chips, they use chopsticks! And I of course, was politely scolded for using my hands when reaching for them, which is a big no no. Culturally, the Hong Kong people are not presented with napkins at a traditional table, which being American and ultimately a fairly messy eater, was something I was looking for almost immediately. But fear not, if you are in need of a napkin, they come around with what looks like tissues for you to use.
I have been very open minded while being here and have tried lots of things that I wouldn’t normally ever be keen to try, including chicken feet, octopus, and sea urchin. My coworkers and boss all told me how brave I was for attempting to try these things, as most of the other interns were not nearly as adventurous. I’m here in Hong Kong for the first time, and I don’t know when I’ll be fortunate enough to return, so I figure that I might as well experience everything to the fullest, including indulging in all the local delicacies!