Food customs In Asia

March 23, 2020


Food occupies the most important part in our lives. Since ancient civilizations humans developed their own cultures and food in line with the part of the world the lived in, geography, climate and soil playing a big role. Today over 7 billion live on this planet with unique culture practices and norms. The types of food and the style of dining differ from culture to culture due to various factors. Every culture dictates its own ways and disciplines of consuming food.

The world being a global village today, we get multiples cuisines all across the globe. We explore food from a different culture than ours to have an experience. Yet it is interesting to know how people of different cultures from different locations practiced their eating culture originally. It would be so odd for uninitiated Westerners to see how people eat their meal in India or China and vice versa.

Indian subcontinent

The staple food in the Indian subcontinent is rice/roti (wheat flour pancake) with lentils, curry made of vegetables, gravies of vegetables or meat, yogurt, crunchies like fryums (a cereal-based ‘ready to fry’ pellets), curd (a form of yogurt) and spicy or sweet pickles for lunch and dinner. Traditionally the senior female member of the family serves the food. Other family members line up sitting in the carpet spread on the floor in a cross-legged position, and consume the meal through their right hand. Still today many people in the subcontinent use hands to consume their meal, though in the urban areas, people have shifted to the dining tables, many people still prefer to eat using their hands. Washing hands before eating is mandatory. In India food varies according the states’ culture. Indian foods like roti and dosa can be eaten only with hands.


The meals in China usually include rice, noodles, noodle soup, and tofu. Chinese use chop sticks to eat their meal. The family members sit around the table, in the middle of it there are bowels filled with rice, soup, noodles, and other varieties. Elders start eating first and the members help themselves to pick up the dishes. Even if a dish is one’s favorite they are taught from childhood to consume it in consideration of others, not gobble like horses.

Middle East

People generally take their food from a communal plate kept at the center of the table. people traditionally dine without utensils (forks or spoons); they scoop up food with their thumb and two fingers. the left hand is considered unclean in the Arab culture similar Indian subcontinent. Even left-handed people eat only with the right hand unless the left hand is used to hold a drinking glass when eating greasy food with the right.It is important to try every plate on the table. The proper etiquette includes complimenting the host on the food and their hospitality. When a guest’s plate gets empty, it is filled by the host immediately. Now utensils are widely used for dining.


The staple foods in Japan are plain rice, bread, noodles, pickled vegetables, and sushi. The traditional dining Japanese Zaisu chairs have a back and cushion but no legs. Japanese use chopsticks to eat their food. Before eating Japanese people thank God for proving them with food.

Traditional Japanese meals are taken sitting on the tatami, a reed like mat inset in the top of the floor. In Japanese etiquette the most honored position goes to the middle of the table, with the second most important person seated next.


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