Saying no when offered a dish when
you’re in another country can be offensive.
Some cultures take pride with what they offer. If you say no, they might
think that you dislike their food. Imagine how much work goes into some of
these dishes. Declining the offer can be heartbreaking. However, you can’t
force yourself to eat when you can’t. If you want to say but remain in these
people’s good graces, these are the
things you need to do.
Be honest but gentle
You don’t have to sugarcoat it. If
you can’t eat the food, you need to be honest. If it’s due to health or
religious reasons, the other party will understand. They won’t force you if you
can’t take the dish. You just have to be careful in your explanation. Make it
clear that it’s not because of your dislike for the food. It’s about certain
restrictions that you have to obey. If you don’t speak the same language as the
other person offering the dish, you can ask someone to translate for you. Try
to be nice and avoid being offensive.
Control your emotions
There are times when you have to say
no because you can’t take the dish. It either looks or smells bad. Even if you
feel that way, you have to control your emotions. Don’t show how disgusted you
are with what’s offered in front of you. Try to smile and look curious. You
don’t have to eat the dish or pretend that you like it. Showing disgust or even
vomiting could be very offensive.
Learn to say thank you
Before heading to a new country, the
first thing you need to learn is how to say thank you. It’s a useful phrase. It
also makes the people from the country you visited feel good. If you can’t eat
the dish offered to you, the least you can do is to say thank you before
declining. You have made an effort to appreciate the culture through the use of
a local phrase. If you can learn others words to help explain your reasons, it
would be great. You might also use the same phrases when ordering food at a
Try something else
If there are other options available,
you can try them. You don’t have to force yourself to eat whatever you can’t.
Perhaps, there are other choices that you find interesting or at least willing
Keep things going
Don’t make things awkward by
concentrating on the food you can’t eat. Perhaps, there are other things you
can talk about. You can try to ask about the dishes if there are no other
topics to discuss. Your interest in understanding the ingredients or the
process in preparing the dishes would be highly appreciated. In some cultures,
keeping the conversation going is a sign
of interest and respect.
The best thing you can do is to learn
more about the culture before you visit the country. You can avoid awkward
interactions by preparing yourself.
1st and featured image
2nd image from https://www.thoughtco.com/please-thank-you-and-youre-welcome-1211265