Hospitality is a matter of pride for the Thai who are known for being very friendly and inviting by nature. You, most likely, will receive an invitation to dine with one of your Thai friends. So, no matter where you are dining, at a restaurant or at their homes, it’s best if you know some basic etiquette.
1) When you enter a home, always leave your foot wear outside. The same applies in case of some traditional restaurants.
2) While you enter a home, always remember not to step on the threshold. Cross over instead.
3) In case you are entering with another elder, it is considered polite to let the elders navigate through the rooms before you do.
4) Thai seating is based on social hierarchy. Always wait for your host to show you where to sit.
5) If you are the guest of honour, it is customary for you to make a toast either after the host or before everyone departs.
6) Almost all Thai food is consumed using a fork or spoon (the Thai never use knives). Chop-sticks may be used when eating a Chinese dish.
7) If you eat using your fingers, regardless of how tasty the food is, it is considered rude to lick your fingers.
8) Always stay alert while at the dining table and never pour your own drink. While dining at a Thai residence, you will need to refill the cups of the person next to you and they are obliged to do the same.
9) Once you are done eating, leaving some food in the bowl is acceptable. Emptying your bowl or plate means you are still hungry and your host will continue to serve you food.
10) Generally, thanking the host for the good meal and inviting them over for a dinner is considered polite and a good way to show your gratitude.
These basic etiquette tips will help you save face while at a Thai household. The next time you are invited to dine with a Thai family, establish yourself as a person who respects and shares the same love for culture that your host does and ensure your spot at future meals.
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