Saturday, 16 July 2016

Countdown to the Olympics: CULTURE

My parents always taught me that it’s rude to burp at the dinner table—but did you know that in China, it’s not only socially acceptable, it’s considered an indication that the meal was good? I find that SO interesting!

So of course, curiosity got the best of me, and I started thinking about a BIG dinner with athletes from all of the countries participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics next month. Can you IMAGINE all of the cultural differences coming together at THAT table?!

For instance, athletes from Denmark may be disappointed when the meal is cut…short. There, dinners take anywhere from four to six hours! On the flip side, North American competitors may be hoping to dine and dash—perhaps before the Ecuador team even shows up. Punctuality is so important in countries like Japan, but Ecuadoreans prefer to arrive at least twenty minutes after the meal has started. With luck, there will be some food remaining! (There wouldn’t be at my house, that’s for sure…)

Regardless of what’s on the menu, though, athletes from Chile will always use utensils—it’s considered rude to eat with your hands, even if you’re gobbling down a taco. But in China? The messier (and louder) the better. In fact, in many parts of Asia, the traditional way to eat noodle soup is to slurp it. (If I did that, I’d be sentenced to dish duty for a week…)

People from Britain may end their meal with a cup of tea—spoon resting on the plate after stirring and never touched again—but don’t expect the Italians to “cap” off their dinner with a cappuccino: that’s a treat reserved for breakfast. Who knew?

Living in Canada, I see cultural differences ALL of the time, and that fact was certainly reinforced at the Calgary Stampede this year! Have you gone? If not, there’s still time. Don’t forget to visit the Alberta Canola Producers Commission booth for great information and cool giveaways!

Gotta jet!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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