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Author Topic: Belching = good manners?
just Lisa
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It is happening again. A child (of almost any age) emits an enormous burp. Then says "You know, in some countries it is polite to burp after a meal." Supposedly it shows how much you enjoyed it.

Now, when I was a kid, I was told that China had this particular point of ettiquette. However, despite reading just about anything that comes within my reach, I have never encountered an official citation of this form of good manners.

So, did any of you have a different country cited? Has anyone found a guidebook or book of manners that elucidates this behavior?

Li (BRAAAAKKKK!) sa

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kessira
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quote:
Originally posted by Clownfish Lisa:
It is happening again. A child (of almost any age) emits an enormous burp. Then says "You know, in some countries it is polite to burp after a meal." Supposedly it shows how much you enjoyed it.

Now, when I was a kid, I was told that China had this particular point of ettiquette. However, despite reading just about anything that comes within my reach, I have never encountered an official citation of this form of good manners.

So, did any of you have a different country cited? Has anyone found a guidebook or book of manners that elucidates this behavior?

Li (BRAAAAKKKK!) sa

My parents, who met while Dad was working on the Dewline in Alaska, told me that this is the custom among the Eskimos, but no, I've never seen any evidence to back it up. In any case, the novelty of it quickly wore off in my household, though at the time I couldn't understand why...
Ju"Urrrrp!"dy

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the Virgin Marrya
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me too, only, I was told it was Japan.


(Lucky for me, I've never been much there, or, boy, would I have made a fool of myself!)

Marry- oooh! excuse me!- ya

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Aimee Evilpixie
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Well, I can vouch that slurping is considered polite in Japan. As for belching... I read an Amy Tan essay where she talked about her father emmarassing her in front of friends by belching loudly after a meal and explaining it was a Chinese custom. I guess it is...

Aimee "I belch anyway, it's fun!" Evilpixie

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Otter the Klown
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I always heard it was Portugal.
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Ms Stressa, Nobody's Clown
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A book I read as a kid about the Zulu tribes (31 Brothers and Sisters , one of my faves) said it was them.

My parents always pointed out that we were not in Africa when I used that excuse! - Stressa [lol]

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Finite Fourier Alchemy
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quote:
Originally posted by Ms Stressa, Nobody's Clown:
A book I read as a kid about the Zulu tribes (31 Brothers and Sisters , one of my faves) said it was them.

My parents always pointed out that we were not in Africa when I used that excuse! - Stressa [lol]

Is it the Masai that spit/spray some sort of ceremonial drink at each other to seal trades?

As for the Chinese belching thing, I strongly doubt it, and I'm not about to ask my anthropology professor about it. I think I already lost points with her for being a fan of Hong Kong cinema. [Wink]

Alchemy

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bratling
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It's belching the redneck mating call.... I mean.. isn't it? Am I wrong?!

[lol] [Wink] [Razz]

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judical
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I was always told(by my dad) that it was Arabian countries that considered it good manners to burp.
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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by ClownLady_Troubador:
I was always told(by my dad) that it was Arabian countries that considered it good manners to burp.

Ditto here. Peter O'Donnell points it out in a couple of his Modesty Blaise stories...

(Although that might seem to be a pretty weak cite -- sort of like citing Ian Fleming or Tom Clancy -- and yet these guys really did *some* research in their fiction!)

Silas (b-u-u-u-u-u-r-r-r-r-p-p-p-p!) Sparkhammer

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Kate
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quote:
Originally posted by Alchemy:
As for the Chinese belching thing, I strongly doubt it

You're right, it's not a requirement of good manners in Chinese society to belch after a meal to express appreciation. However, it isn't bad manners to belch either, as it would be in most Western society. In fact, China's pretty much Liberty Hall as far as belching's concerned. [Smile]

Kate

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BferBear
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I live in Hong Kong, and whilst I am not sure if it is a custom or just a common habit, it is true that burping at any stage (not just after meals) is considered normal amongst older chinese locals. Not so much amongst younger people who have been more exposed to western behaviour.
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Jaime Vargas Sanchez
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by ClownLady_Troubador:
I was always told(by my dad) that it was Arabian countries that considered it good manners to burp.

Me too.

Jaime

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Mosherette
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I was always taught it's good manners in Egypt.

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Jay Tea
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Just to add a little empirical evidence to the fray [Wink]

I was travelling in North Africa, staying in the main with local families happy to put up travellers for a few dollars, bed and breakfast style. One time in Tunisia we were heading out into what was regarded as real desert and our Hosts told us tales of Bedouin tribes - I remarked that my mother had told me it was customary for Bedouin to belch after a meal as a sign of appreciation (indeed, my experience in the Arab parts of the world I have visited ceratinly led me to believe this was true, food is a burpy business for sure!)

The man of the house confirmed this, and even added that it wasn't just polite, it would offend if no burp was brought forth, and was also the means by which you declare your intention to consume no more food (otherwise more will be brought to you).

We never encountered any Bedouin, but burped to great appreciation after our host had served us the best lamb I ever tasted in my life! [Smile]

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arnie
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Add my voice to those who were told about the Arabian/North African/Bedouin tribespeople.

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kessira
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quote:
Originally posted by ClownLady_Troubador:
I was always told(by my dad) that it was Arabian countries that considered it good manners to burp.

I spent 7 years living in al-Khobar and dining with the locals, and never heard that even once. It is good manners to eat with one's hands (or more precisely, one's right hand) but belching was never an option.
Ju"urrrlp! 'Scuse me!" dy

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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One of the point I forgot to add was the fact that we were told that it was taboo for women to burp, or for men to burp triumphantly when women were in the room - all got a bit confusing to be honest, so we just ripped traditional European style burps to be on the safe side! [Big Grin]

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the Virgin Marrya
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oh, i DO like the phrase "to burp triumphantly"


so...why ISN"T it socially acceptable to burp [Razz] after meals...when we ALL feel like it, and are doing all kinds of internal contortions not to, given that most of us grew up believing it was acceptable SOMEWHERE in the world?

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Kate
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And following on from marrya's question, at what stage did our parents stop greeting our burps with "Oh, you clever baby!" and substitute "Stop it, that's digusting!"? [Razz]

Kate

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Van Couver
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Can't remember where I heard it from. But my brother and I once used it on my mother.

"But in others countries that stands for good manners"

And the only reply we got was

"But not around here" And the topic was closed.

bg
Van Couver

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the Virgin Marrya
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yeah, we tried that with the old "fingers were made before forks"
to which my mum replied "Yes, but not YOUR fingers, honey!"

marry "finger-lickin'" ya

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First Amongst Daves
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quote:
Originally posted by Kate:
quote:
Originally posted by Alchemy:
As for the Chinese belching thing, I strongly doubt it

You're right, it's not a requirement of good manners in Chinese society to belch after a meal to express appreciation. However, it isn't bad manners to belch either, as it would be in most Western society. In fact, China's pretty much Liberty Hall as far as belching's concerned. [Smile]

Kate

Have you noticed, though, that spitting and to a lesser extent belching is becoming less common?

A Chinese colleague of mine theorises that its because of increased exposure to mainlanders: the Hong Kongers have rapidly come to think of it as "mainland behaviour".

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LizzyJingleBells
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^ burping smilie

I've always heard that burping was a complement to the chef, but I never heard any specific country attached to it.

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Top Kat
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quote:
Originally posted by Aimee Evilclowny:
Well, I can vouch that slurping is considered polite in Japan. As for belching... I read an Amy Tan essay where she talked about her father emmarassing her in front of friends by belching loudly after a meal and explaining it was a Chinese custom. I guess it is...

Aimee "I belch anyway, it's fun!" Evilpixie

I lived in Japan for two years and can vouch that slurping is ACCEPTABLE (i.e., something you're allowed to do). However, I didn't get the impression that it was POLITE (i.e., something that you're expected to do and people may be offended if you don't).

I'm not a native and could be wrong.

But I do feel that in general this thread is not making a distinction between something being "good manners" (which would mean you SHOULD do it) and simply being acceptable (which merely means you CAN do it), which I think is a distinction worth making.

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