6 dining etiquette rules to be like a true Jordanian

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a famous land attracting many visitors. There are many rules that visitors should learn to integrate with the local people.

Jordan's iconic dish is mansaf, rice dish is served on a large plate with camel meat or lamb and goat meat. Coming Jordan, visitors ask any indigenous people who will be introduced to the mansaf, the national rice dish here. Mansaf also means a large disk. As the name suggests, the rice will be served on a large plate with rice, meat, jameed (made from fermented sheep milk), a variety of herbs and grilled almonds. Indigenous people attach great importance to this dish. The way to enjoy mansaf in the Jordanian style is also what diners will discover when they experience directly food by bare hand.

Here are the correct mansaf dining etiquette rules in Jordan. 

1. Always wait for other people 

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Most Jordanians like to eat in groups. They will not eat before the number of people is enough in the tray. Indigenous people will be happy if international diners also implement this rule, which they consider respect for everyone during the meal. 

2. Only use one hand 

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Islam is the main religion in Jordan and according to some regulations, people always use their right hand when eating. They always try to use the right hand because using the left hand is considered a bad omen. In particular, eating with two hands also means showing disrespect for those who eat with you. 

3. Art of making round balls 

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Jordanians wholeheartedly believe that eating by hand helps them feel better. Each person needs to know how to get enough rice, meat, and other foods to make beautiful round balls and then dip them into the sauce when enjoying. 

4. Keep cleaning  

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Eating by hand requires Jordanians to have certain hygiene rules. Whenever people eat food, they don't lick their fingers after putting it on their mouths. To be polite, they give the food skillfully without touching their mouth. 

5. Do not refuse food 

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When you have a meal with a Jordanian family, there are many dishes that may not suit your taste. As a courtesy, Jordanians often treat guests as much as possible. Make sure you eat well and enjoy all the dishes on the tray. 

6. Stop eating when you feel full and don't leave the table first 

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The presence of desserts is inevitable in Jordanian meals. You should not try to eat main dishes if your stomach is full, leave a space for desserts. In particular, it will be very rude if you finish eating and leave the table when everyone still eats. Jordanians love to chat so after they finish eating, they will take you to the dessert table to enjoy tea. Leaving the table first is considered impolite. 

By: Mithrine Smith

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