Scandinavia and the World

Comments #9466017:


Manners are important 17 3, 4:53am

My favorite culture-clash comes from a professor I had at college.

He was touring Japan (I think he was doing research on Hot Springs) and was a guest at someone's home. He ate the food, and the hostess promptly brought out more, which he ate, and more was brought out without asking.

In parts of the USA, not finishing your food implies that something was wrong with it, so it's polite to clear your plate.

In parts of Japan, clearing your plate implies you weren't provided with enough food.

So he and the hostess were in a politeness confrontation, with differing standards.