Cultural Difference: The First Bite

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As JH and I were served our meals at an Outback Steakhouse today something happened that made me realize an interesting cultural difference between us two. First let me say that I generally do not like going to Outback Steakhouse, Fridays or any of those chains here in Korea. Mostly because they are expensive, but also due to that the food is often really greasy and too salty. With that said, we usually just order salads since we have found they are the freshest thing on the menu.

There I was ready to take my first bite when JH shoved his fork (with a piece of meat on it) in front of my face asking, "Do you want to try it?" I leaned back and exclaimed, "No!"

This isn't the first time JH has done this, and I always reject his attempts to feed me like that. I think today I got a little peeved because I would have figured by now he got the message. But then I realized this must be some cultural difference hoopla. As far as I know, back home we don't usually try to feed each other. If we do want someone to taste our dish I think we usually take a small portion and put it on the other persons plate. But rarely was I taught or had the experience of a bite being rapidly put in front of my face.

Immediately, I discussed this with JH and pointed out the cultural difference. Certainly he didn't know about it and figured it was normal. Also, he remarked on how it is something couples do.

I just have to wonder if this is something shared by other cross-cultural couples in Korea, or am I just the only one? hmmm


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