Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum

Welcome to the original English language Poland and Polish discussion group board. This message forum is a place where English-speaking Poles, foreigners (expats) living in Poland, and anyone with a genuine interest in Poland can discuss and read the views of others concerning Poland. Subjects include: Polish news and current affairs; Life in Poland; politics; genealogy research; Polish culture and history; advice and tips on visiting Poland; Polish property and investment issues. The aim of our group is to increase awareness of wonderful Poland using the English language and allow and foster the honest debate and exchange of opinions on anything vaguely related to Poland and Polish - positive, negative and/or neutral! To state the obvious: all opinions and views expressed on this site are solely those of their respective authors and are not necessarily those of anyone else! Messages consisting of ads will be deleted.

Links:  Poland Directory; Polish Language Forum; Factbook Poland; Photographs of Poland; Polish TranslationA Town in Poland; Map

Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
View Entire Thread
Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

Most of my Polish family don't use knives at the dinner table. At least not at home.

My father-in-law prefers to use a spoon for everything.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

could this be something to do with The Bad Old Days and the length of time the meat had to be cooked in order to made it at all edible?

my husband pokes at his meat with the side of his fork, expecting it to fall apart at a touch. As wifey doesn't cook the meat to extinction, nothing useful happens.

c

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

"The British generally pay a lot of attention to good table manners. Even young children are expected to eat properly with knife and fork."

Maybe in the olden days. You might get taught how to use a knife and fork, but these days nobody cares about etiquette. Nothing to do with class, but a sign of the times. I've been out with (English) guys who went to top private schools or oxbridge graduates who shovel food into their mouths with no thought for decorum. Men in general often do this whatever level of society they are in. It's supposed to be equated with sexual appetite.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

"When eating soup, tip the bowl away from you and scoop the soup up with your spoon"

I tend to follow all the above "things you should or should not do" instinctively. Apart from the tipping soup bowl away from me. I think this is really super pretentious and also impractical anyway in these days of deep round bowls. I never finish my soup anyway. I guess that's rude, but in some countries if you finish a plate of food they give you more. Customs around the world vary and you should of course follow the "when in Rome..." approach otherwise you are then seen as rude yourself.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

>>but I think it's quite refined and ladylike to eat with only a fork

"Hmm, interesting perspective..!"

If you met me Sosh and had a meal with me you would never question that I have impeccable table manners. I am very fussy about eating nicely and this is why I am so observant of other people's bad habits. My pet hate is anyone talking with a full mouth or anyone making eating noises of any kind or eating with their mouth open.

I will add to the list above to say that I think it IS very bad form to eat or drink when walking down the street (unless it's an ice cream on a hot day). It's also bad form to eat on the tube. It's impolite to bring food to meetings and sit there eating and talking unless the meeting is a working lunch. In which case it's bad form to heap too much on your plate or to eat noisily when others are talking.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

"The British generally pay a lot of attention to good table manners. Even young children are expected to eat properly with knife and fork."

Maybe in the olden days. You might get taught how to use a knife and fork, but these days nobody cares about etiquette. "



I don't agree at all. I only left England just over a year ago. I'm sure good manners haven't changed so quickly.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

"I don't agree at all. I only left England just over a year ago. I'm sure good manners haven't changed so quickly."

No idea how old you are Victor but most teens don't even seem to know what a knife and fork is these days, and I'm not talking about those from deprived communities, I'm talking about ordinary kids from affluent homes where both parents are educated. It's likely to lead to a complete change in etiquette over the next twenty years. There is a change in lifestyles driving this. Absent parents (either trough work or divorce) and a sedentary lifestyle etc.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

It may not be politically correct to say but table etiquette is in large measure class influenced. This is not to say that many of the upper class are not boorish or that the simplest of folk do not have refined manners. But one can certainly deduce much from observing peoples table manners.

Precisely because of the ability to deduce much of a person’s background from such observations; people have hidden their training in table manners. During the war U.S. prisoners of war specifically trained to reverse the fork/right knife/left manners of their home and officer training. This was to make them more inconspicuous if they were to escape imprisonment. In the citizen-comrade period in Poland many upper class Poles eschewed years of training to not flag that they were of the “oppressive bourgeoisie”.

In 1975 while hiking around Międzylesie south of Kłodzko I altered my usual routine of picnic lunching by stopping into a roadside knajpa of the lower sort as they (surprisingly) had roast chicken on the menu. (Presumably, as this was a main freight route but not a tourist road, TIR drivers were privileged to food access despite food shortages at the time). Oblivious to my surroundings I reflexively proceeded to dine with knife and fork as though I were at the Ognisko in London. It was only as I was finishing that I noted that the place was quite silent and several surly types across the room were scowling at me. I left with only a mere “psa krew, szlachta” muttered at me. I don’t doubt that if it were later in the day with a few more beers into the patrons that my stay would not have been as pleasant.

Mind you; that same year in Głuchołazy, I witnessed the parish priest teaching local children full table etiquette as “respect for God’s offerings” and I have seen such exemplary manners in practice in the most backwoods of places.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

""It may not be politically correct to say but table etiquette is in large measure class influenced. This is not to say that many of the upper class are not boorish or that the simplest of folk do not have refined manners. But one can certainly deduce much from observing peoples table manners.""

Absolutely correct.

Interesting post.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

Americans observe different rules when eating. I had this pointed out to me in detail by a well brought up American boy before asking him to fit in with English etiquette, as it was a Surrey prep school. Manners maketh man.

Re: Knife and fork use at dinner

http://www.cuisinenet.com/glossary/use.html

See the above link for a comparison of american and european techniques...