seating is quite complicated at a dinner party as there are many factors to be considered. if there are many tables, you should make clear which is the head table, who will be seated there and ensure that your most honored guest is offered the head seat.
the person with the highest status among the guests will be seated on the right of the head. if there are no seating signs, you can simply follow the arrangement of the host or ask where you should be seated. one should not sit down until the host signals them to or after the host has taken their seat. say “thank you” and begin to eat.
After the host and the most important guest begin to eat, the dish can be turned to each of the remaining guests. At other times, the host will ask guests to taste dishes first to show respect.
tea is served throughout a chinese dinner party. in china, people often give the person sitting next to them a refill of tea or water. If you have something in your mouth and cannot say “thank you,” you do not have to feel embarrassed. instead, you can tap on the table gently with your fingers to show gratitude.
to welcome guests, the host will propose a toast such as “welcome and i wish us a pleasant evening, cheers!” or “to your health, cheers!” etc. the guests should give an appropriate response. Preparing a toast in advance can come in handy on such occasions.
in addition, a lot of dishes are served during a chinese dinner party, with each dish having a large amount of food. i have repeatedly seen foreigners become full before half of the dishes are served. Therefore, you should look at the menu first to understand the portions before starting to eat. only by taking your time, can you enjoy traditional chinese delicacies to the fullest. so at the table, people often say, “eat slowly, as good food is yet to come!” • Do not vertically insert chopsticks into food because it is very impolite. • You do not have to force yourself to eat all of the food if you are full or dislike any of the options. leftovers do not signify impoliteness. • Chinese people often hold the glass lower than that of others to show respect when proposing a toast.