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.

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Poland and Polish Discussion Group and Forum
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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...