Table Manners- Not Cool Anymore!
Table manners were an important part of our upbringing and failing to eat accordingly resulted in social ostracism not so many years ago. Yes, I am talking about Great Britain, a country known for its exceptional formality when it came to eating. The stiff upper lip would quiver disapprovingly with an eyebrow raised heaven ward if you so much as brushed your elbow with the person sitting next to you. But all that has changed now with the residents of Britain shoving their table manners right out of the door and joining forces with America when it is time to eat. What do the young Brits do at the table now? Let’s find out…
Dinner: A Time For Work Not Family!
A recent study about the dining habits of the English revealed astonishing news. The popular notion of families sitting together around a large table during mealtimes is definitely passé now with only 4 out of 10 British preferring to do so. But that is certainly not all. A majority of them would think nothing of bringing work to the dining area and remain intent on sending texts, receiving calls and e-mails and even fidgeting with their gaming consoles while trying to get their daily nourishment.
Dining Habits Now
Do take a look at the long list below to understand what dinner time entails for an English family now.
1. People are no longer interested in cutting their food daintily with the aid of a knife and fork. Instead, they simply tear off great chunks of bread and meat making the entire process quicker.
2. Finishing off every course by taking the proper amount of time and signaling the end of the meal by placing your spoon and fork close together is not something the young Brits follow. Most of them simply wolf the food down and are gone from the table within ten minutes now.
3. People are also more keen to get back to their work or play and rush to the table without washing their hands most of the time. What happened to hygiene, I wonder.
4. Laptops resting against a dinner plate while the keyboard is jabbed with a fork in hand is commonplace now with many a youngster preferring to bring their gaming consoles to the table too.
5. What about the snow-white napkin placed firmly around the collar? Who cares, as long as you have a box full of tissues at hand.
6. Jabbing with the fork held in the wrong hand is something that could get one dismissed from the table. Not any more, I’m afraid as it considered to be terribly cool to do that while trying to pick up the peas from your plate with your fingers.
While many would scoff at the idea of carrying on the old tradition during meals, it does give the family an opportunity to bond together. Family members distracted by their various activities hardly come together and a meal becomes just a means of sustaining oneself as opposed to creating a wonderful sense of belonging.
Emma Gray, the spokesperson for “Birmingham Food Fest” agrees about sharing a mealtime with your family. “Food is an important part of family life and dining together is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones, which should be an enjoyable experience for all.” Says she.
Well, I hope that saying grace isn’t a forgotten practice too as we would certainly like to bow our heads and say Amen to that.
Image Credit- tx.english-ch