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Chinese people love to eat and China boasts one of the world's greatest cuisines. During the long development of Chinese eating culture, many practices have evolved that foreign visitors may find quite different from what they are used to and even consider weird. These pages have been written to help those from other parts of the world to understand Chinese eating culture.

China is a country with a long history of ritual and etiquette, and eating is highly important feature of China’s culture, so naturally dining etiquette has developed to a high degree. Dining etiquette is said to have its beginnings in the Zhou Dynasty (1045-256 BC). Through thousands of years of evolution it has developed into a set of generally accepted dining rituals and practices. However, there is still variation in table etiquette according to the character and purpose of a banquet and great differences regionally.

Eating Ambience

Being surrounded by much loud talking and laughing is a typical ambience at a Chinese restaurant. Chinese people like a noisy and upbeat atmosphere when having a gathering and meals are no exception. People regard it as a rule of thumb that if the dishes of a restaurant are good and tasty then the restaurant will be noisy and busy. The crowds at a restaurant indicate the deliciousness of the dishes. If you want a quiet place to enjoy your meal, some restaurants provide private rooms with one or more tables.

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