Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (2024)

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01/9Cutlery gestures which reflects your thoughts about food

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (1)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (2)

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How often have you wondered what is the right way to place your cutlery on the table or on your plate. Should you cross them or place them on the sides of your plate or should they be kept with face up. In fact the way you keep your cutlery might have a meaning and it may gesture something you don't know-like asking for more food, conveying that the meal was good or saying that you are done with your meal. Here are some cutlery gestures that all fine diners should know.

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02/9​“I am ready to eat”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (3)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (4)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (5)

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If you keep your cutlery this way, it means that you are about to start the meal.

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03/9​“I am not finished”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (6)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (7)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (8)

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This means that you are talking to someone and have paused eating.

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04/9​“I am ready for my next meal”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (9)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (10)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (11)

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05/9​“I did not enjoy the meal”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (12)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (13)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (14)

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When you do not like the taste of the food, you keep the cutkery by crossing this way.

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06/9​“The meal was excellent”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (15)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (16)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (17)

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This way indicates that you liked the food and appreciate it.

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07/9​“I will surely come again”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (18)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (19)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (20)

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Keeping the fork upside down on the plate means you will definitely come again.

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08/9​“I did not like the service”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (21)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (22)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (23)

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Inserting the knife into fork tines indicates you did not enjoy the service.

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09/9​“I am finished”

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (24)

Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (25)Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (26)

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Keeping the cutlery parallel to each other means you are done.

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Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says | The Times of India (27)

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Table etiquette: How you place your cutlery and what it says  | The Times of India (2024)

FAQs

What is the correct placement of cutlery etiquette? ›

Cutlery placement

2. Forks should be set to the left of the plate, with knives placed to the right, blade edges facing inwards Soup spoons should be placed on the right of the knives. 3. Place the dessert fork and dessert spoon above the plate, with the fork prongs facing right and the spoon bowl facing left.

How should cutlery be placed on a table setting? ›

Place your flatware in the order they will be used, with the items that will be used first on the outside. Forks go to the left of the plate, and knives and spoons go on the right. Knives should always face inward towards the plate. If you're not serving soup, you don't need a spoon.

Which hand do you hold fork and spoon in India? ›

Cut the food with help of spoon in right hand and fork in left. Eat the food with fork in left hand. Use the spoon in right hand to eat Sambar, Dahi or chutney.

What is the etiquette for cutlery at the end of a meal? ›

When eating is complete, place your knife and fork side by side in the middle of your plate, fork prongs down, knife to the right with the blade turned inward toward the fork. All spoons should be placed on the side plate and please don't start stacking the dishes like you work at a diner!

Does the napkin go on left or right? ›

Some other things to know: Knife blades always face the plate. The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate. The bread and butter knife is optional.

Do drinks go on the right or left? ›

The “b” formed with your left hand stands for “bread” and indicates that the bread plate is always on the right side, the “d” formed with your right hand stands for “drink” and indicates that your drinking glass is always on the right side of your place setting.

What are the rules for eating in India? ›

While sharing is an important part of Indian etiquette, it is considered impolite to share a fork or spoon or drinking glass, to bite from someone else's food or to double dip. The left hand is not used for eating, even if you are left-handed. To do so is considered unclean.

What is the food etiquette in India? ›

Traditionally, meals are eaten while seated either on the floor or on very low stools or cushions. Food is most often eaten without cutlery, using instead the fingers of the right hand (not the left since that hand is used for cleaning oneself after a bowel movement).

What is the way of eating in India? ›

Indian people are supposed to eat with their right hands, because eating with the left hand is sometimes considered to be unclean. Eating is usually with family and friends, with the homemaker on the table keeping an eye on the table, bringing and offering more food.

When in India you must only eat with your right hand? ›

Rule one is: eat with your right hand only. In India, as right across Asia, the left hand is for wiping your bottom, cleaning your feet and other unsavoury functions (you also put on and take off your shoes with your left hand), while the right hand is for eating, shaking hands and so on.

Is it rude to not eat with your hands in India? ›

The thing is, eating with your hands is also considered a respectful gesture in India. The other reason eating with your hands is considered a respectful gesture is that in Hinduism, the right hand is considered the clean hand. Because of this, it is not considered polite to eat with your left hand.

Do people in India use forks? ›

While most Indian restaurants allow the use of cutlery when eating, don't expect this to be the norm since people in India actually prefer to eat using their fingers. In a typical Indian household, you won't see any spoons or forks on their table since the only eating instrument they require is their right hand.

Is it fork and knife or knife and fork? ›

As the knife was invented thousands of years before the fork it is customary to say “knife and fork”. However, there are some countries/languages which say “fork and knife”. This is prevalent in the polish community in the UK.

How to place the fork and spoon after eating? ›

According to end-of-meal etiquette, the spoon or fork should be placed with its handle on the plate as if it were the hands of a clock, marking 6:30, according to the English style.

Which hand does the knife go in? ›

The knife should be in the right hand and the fork in the left. However, if a knife is not needed – such as when eating pasta – the fork can be held in the right hand. Bread is always served and can be placed on the table cloth itself. It is considered unacceptable to use one's fingers to taste the food.

Why do knives face inward? ›

In 1669, Louis XIV of France decreed that knives must be rounded at top, not threateningly pointed. (Oh, wait, that was to stop people from using their knives to pick their teeth.) The rule is that regardless of what else is going on in the world, the table is set with knife blades facing in.

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