5 Mealtime Customs from Around the World

Article Written by Dixie
People do mealtime differently all over the world, and many cultures have different customs that help can you be more present in the moment with your family. Try a few from around the globe.
1. Bento.

Japan’s homemade go-to lunch often gets special treatment when packed for children, with food formed into characters and animals. Craft your kids’ sandwiches or leave a note in their lunch bags to feel a little closer to them during the day.

2. Dim Sum.

Not actually originally intended for “traditional” families, China’s dim sum was served by teahouses along the Silk Road, allowing travelers to connect with those around them, forming a sense of community—and family—wherever they were.

3. Long, communal meals.

In places like France, dinner is a long affair, full of talking and sharing. In the US, eating can be hurried. Add a light final course or spend time chatting after to make table-time a more leisurely event that everyone can look forward to.

4. The Siesta.

A long-held tradition in Spain, siesta is not just a midday nap—it’s also a chance for a quick bite to eat. Workers without time to head home spend it with colleagues, taking a step back from the day’s work to enjoy each other’s company.

5. Shabbat.

The Jewish holy day of Shabbat is celebrated in Israel and beyond and is a time to unplug and enjoy the company of family. You don’t have to observe the Sabbath to spend time with your family, but it’s a great way to approach togetherness.