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Mealtime Etiquette

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Chapter Summary

Rich or poor, villagers used the same kind of eating utensils, porcelain bowls, soup spoons and bamboo chopsticks. When they ate ordinary rice, they used bowls and chopsticks in the same way as the Han Chinese. The whole family ate two main meals together each day, consisting of boiled rice, other dishes and spicy pepper. Breakfast was eaten at about 9 am. This was the most important meal of the day and if guests were invited they usually came for breakfast. The evening meal was eaten after darkness fell, by the light of burning fir sticks. The villagers of Xiangye were generally hospitable. Even poverty-stricken families typically killed a chicken when guests arrived. For ordinary guests, a meal was prepared with fried eggs, soybeans, small fish and shrimps. The custom of whole clans inviting many guests to a long-table meal was replaced by smaller-scale invitations to more modest family meals.

Keywords: bamboo chopsticks; Han Chinese; meals; porcelain bowls; soup spoons



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