Are you polite? Are you impolite?
People here in Taiwan think quite differently about eating food together than they do back home. They see it as really rude and not polite if you don't eat what your offered, regardless if you like it or not.
There have been a lot of occasions so far when people think I am not polite just because I won't eat certain things I know I don't like. I find this behaviour very odd. For example I really don't eat a lot of sea food. I like cod, tuna, a bit of salmon now and then other than that not much else. In Taiwan they eat loads of seafood, especially prawns, shrimps and clams. I hate prawns and shrimps in England so why would that change when I came to Taiwan, it does not. It is still the same I don't like what I don't like and I cannot just decide to eat it because people will think I am not polite.
A few months ago I went out with work to a beautiful place in the mountains for a meal with work. I had a stinking hang over, and the place we went to had no menu, I was hoping they would have something I like. They didn't have anything, actually it was mainly loads of raw fish. As I have already told everyone I don't eat most fish to begin with because I don't like it. So the fact this was not even cooked fish, and I had a stinking hangover made it all worse. It was also boiling hot, and the air con didn't seem to be helping me one bit. As we progressed through the meal, there was not one dish I could eat. They did however keep insisting I should try it, even though I know I don't like it because I have tried it before.
I didn't think this would of been a great problem but when I went to work the next day I got politely informed that I was rude for not eating anything. I really don't know how me not eating anything effects any one else's enjoyment of their food but that's really how it is here!
My girlfriend keeps telling me if I don't like anything I should tell them I am allergic to it, and this would make everything so much easier. I think though why should I lie about something so trivial that really effects no one else but myself? If I go out for a staff meal together and don't like the food I am gonna be the one losing out because I leave hungry not them!
Anyway, the point of this post is who is right? Who is wrong?
Back home it is not polite to force people to eat what they don't like, or make them feel like shit that they don't want to eat the food.
Here in Taiwan it is the opposite, people see it as not polite if you don't eat anything because you don't like it. They think your being rude by not trying some, and being too fussy about the food. Also they think your not grateful!
Discuss...let me know your opinions!