Social Eating Etiquette and Faux Pas in Mexico
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Social Eating Etiquette and Faux Pas in Mexico

Detailed description of social eating etiquette and faux pas in Mexico.

In Mexican culture, sharing a meal is the ultimate way to connect with a group of people, whether they be family, friends or business colleagues. With lunch being the most important meal of the day, individuals take their time to enjoy both their food and company. Many within the western world are accustomed to quick meals on the street or in front of the television, but such habits are considered inappropriate within traditional Mexican social contexts. Though there are many dos and don'ts in social eating etiquette, these rules do not tend to interfere with everyone at a meal having an pleasant time.

Standard Eating Etiquette

Breakfasts and lunches are most often times to socialize casually and take a more informal approach. Since it is taboo to rush oneself and others, breakfasts typically last between thirty minutes and two hours while lunches will most often extend up to two hours. Dinner is sometimes had between close business associates, but is most often reserved for family and friends.

-Being invited to dinner in someone's home is considered a high honor, hence arriving with wine or flowers is an acceptable way to show gratitude.

-It is standard to look your best for a social dinner. More casual attire is acceptable for breakfast and lunch.

-If eating out, it is customary for the host to order for all the guests.

-If eating out, the host should always tip unless the service was unsatisfactory.

Faux Pas

Just as there are many dos for social eating in Mexico, there are also numerous things to avoid doing.

-It is considered impolite to arrive early or right on time. It is best to show up about half an hour late.

-Hands should never go below the table. Keep wrists rested on the table's edge.

-No one eats before the host.

-Hosts should never suggest splitting the bill. It is custom for the individual who invited all the guest to cover the entire meal. As a sign of goo gesture, guests will offer to pay, but the host is expected to graciously decline the offer and pay for everyone's portion of the bill.

-It is considered very rude to leave right after finishing one's food.

-It is strongly advised that those at the table avoid bringing up topics that fall under politics, religion and war. Instead, discussions best kept to family, friends and happy occurrences within one's life.

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