July 30, 2007


In Sweden we have some nice etiquette rules when staying around people, and since I am going to a formal wedding party this weekend I thought I tell you a little about the Swedish table manners.

As we all know, many basic manners begin with common sense...
- Only sit down at the dinner table when invited to sit down.
- A lady dinner partner is always to the right side of the male dinner partner.
- Do not start to eat or drink before the host/hostess says it is ok to do so. (only the water is ok to drink of before)
- Do not bring your drink (from the bar or if you were served a welcome-drink) to the dinner table.
- Never leave the table during the dinner! (you can go to the restrooms, etc, during a scheduled break, or before and after dinner)
- The napkin is placed in your lap during the whole dinner; starting when you are seated until finishing the dessert. When the dinner is over put the napkin on the table to the left of your plate. If you are leaving the table during a break, place the napkin on the chair.
- If you have a handbag place the bag hanging on the chair - never on the table!
Never speak in your cell phone - turn it of during dinner!
- When you are drinking hold the glass in its foot, and do not clink the glasses when toasting!
- Toasting; the first toast is held by the host or hostess. Rise your glass in chest hight and turn to the the host/hostess, continue to turn to your neighbor at the table, and finish with your table lady/male partner, take a sip and ones more turn to the host/hostess and finish with your table lady/male partner.
The second toast is held by the table male partner to his table lady partner; Look in each others eyes, drink and then look in each others eyes again before you put the glass on the table.
Married mens have to toast with their wifes at least one time during the dinner.
- Eat quietly, have small bites of food, do not speak with food in your mouth.
- Do not put knifes in your mouth - only the fork is ok to eat with, knifes are only for cutting the food.
- If an accident happens; your wine glass falls; or someone else's glass falls, do not make a big deal of it. If your the one who caused the accident say you are sorry (if someone else spilled ask if he/she needs your help) and keep on going with the conversation. Quietly clean up the mess or let the waiter/waitress clean it up for you.
- When you have finished your food let the cutlery rest at the plate (at four o'clock) to the right hand side. (with the fork edges laying downwards)
- Do not put on make-up sitting at the dinner table.
- Do not speak during speeches.
- When the hostess place her napkin at the table it is a sign that dinner is over and no more food will be served.

This is only a small part of the etiquette, if you are interested in learning more let me know and I will help you!

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