The traditional table manners of Korea are characterized by reverence
to seniority and appreciation of food served. Of the old records
on dining manners, the following is quoted from 'Sasojeol' written
by scholar Lee Deok-Mu in 1700.' According to him, table manners
are divided into 'before dining,' 'during dining' and 'after dining.'
You should have clean face and
hand before being seated at table. Do not eat raw liver,
omasum and kidney of cow, or raw fish too much to decrease appetite
for main dish.
However busy you are, you
must not delay eating when meal is served. It should
be avoided to take a meal after food has become cooled off
or dusted. There are old sayings to give caution in
this regard, like telling the eater 'Meal for the ghost is
waiting,' or 'That food seems to have been presented to altar.'
In addition, you should not make other attendants wait at
dining table. When you are angry, you must cool down
first and keep peace of mind before starting to eat.
Do not shout or sigh at dining table, nor should you put down
spoon and chopsticks suddenly on table. However hot
the served rice or soup may be, do not blow it to cool off.
Do not chew food too slowly as if you dislike the food, nor
should you chew too hurriedly as if you are being chased.
Do not rap on the table with chopsticks, nor make the noise
of spoon's hitting tableware.
After finishing meal, you should
adjust spoon and chopsticks orderly lest their tips may be
extended outside the table, to prevent their hitting doorpost
when bringing them back to kitchen. Please remove leftovers
stuck between your teeth with toothpick, thereby clearing
mouth odor and preventing decay of teeth.
manners (quoted from 'Mussangsinsik' etiquette in Joseon (Chosun)