And where at the end of a 'western meal', cutlery is paired up and set aside to signal 'the end', in Japan and China, this is not done. Chopsticks are placed on their own stands never over the bowls.
So, there are some many difference in cultures....and all these result in different foods from people with different histories. Of course there are many more differences and similarities than I have touched on here, considering the sheer diversity of people on the planet - be it from how people in Sweden and Switzerland share toasts (by looking each other straight in the eye while toasting) to using only your fingertips to eat North Indian breads. All in all, it is amazing to see how cultures and customs intersect to give us numerous permutations and combinations for every tribe, every race and every country of the world. Of course, there are many sweeping generalisations and while these are not rigorous, must-take steps, it is good to be aware of what goes on...and where. You never know where you'll be headed to next!
What are your own peculiar customs?
What experiences have you had with etiquette and food manners?
Please let us know what you think. Thanks.
References: The Almight Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_manners