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Food / Having a meal / Indonesia

Javanese Dining Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts

Javanese culture has a big impact in Indonesia, since the number of Javanese tribe is on the top. Some of the Javanese culture, like kebaya and batik for example, has become the icon of Indonesia. Javanese culture originally came from Java Island, indeed, but only the people from Central and East Java are called Javanese, while the ones who came from West Java are called Sundanese.

There are so many rules that became a living guide for the Javanese. Here are some examples of the dining etiquette that still applied until now regarding to Javanese people:

1. Chewing sound is a big NO

Silence is golden, especially when you are eating with Javanese. Make a sound when you are chewing considered as impolite. Javanese always keep their mouth close when chewing, and if they have something to talk about, they will do it after there is no food inside their mouth.

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Not only chewing sound that prohibited when you are eating with Javanese, but also some noises from your cutlery. Javanese will make the sound as low as possible, barely heard.

2. Sit and eat

Javanese are not used to stand while eating, except on the situation when they come to someone’s wedding party that has no chairs for all guest. For Javanese, it is better to sit while eating because regarding to them, it is a good manner. Still, there are some places that prohibited, like in front (or the middle) of a door. Javanese believe that when someone eats in the front of a door, he/she could not find his/her lover easily.

3. No phone call while having a meal

Answer a phone call when you are eating with Javanese is considered as rude. It is better to keep the phone in silent mode until the dinner finish. Not only phone call, leave the dining table for another business is not recommended. Javanese will always finish their meal first, put the cutlery in the sink, then continue with their business. Doing something else while eating is also prohibited.

4. Offer another people to try the dishes

Javanese people are well-known as polite. Their politeness standard is quite high, even about a single thing like greet another person. It is not only in public places, but also at the dining table too. When a Javanese host invited another people to have a dinner together, the host (and his family) will offer the guests to try the dishes. For Javanese, offer a dish to another people

shows their warmth and kindness. As the one who got offered by the Javanese, it is better to take the dish even in a small portion to appreciate the kindness of the Javanese.

Last, it will be much better if you take your cutlery to the sink by yourself after you finish your meal. Regarding to Javanese, people who do that are considered as well-mannered.

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Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.