Like Haitian foods, Haitian dining etiquette are also unique. Haitian culture attaches a lot of importance to table manners. When you eat at best Haitian restaurants or attend a party or dine at a host’s home, knowing the basic Haitian dining etiquette will come in handy to feel comfortable also letting the host or servers feel comfortable with you.
Basic Haitian dining etiquette
While making a toast, the most common one is salud meaning ‘to yoru health’. Wait to start eating and it is right to get started only when the host says, “Bon Appetite!”
Using the utensils and accessories
Haitians use the knives and forks in the European way, holding knife in the right hand and the fork in the left hand all through the dining session. Once the meal is finished, it is right to place the fork and knife parallel to each other on the right side of the plate. Placing the knife and fork on the plate for a long time is a sign indicating the waiter that the plate may be taken away.
When you do not hold any utensil, keep your hands in visible position above the table by resting the wrists on the table. It is not right to keep your hands on your lap.
While passing the food at the table, the right way to follow is to pass the dishes to your left.
Head of the table is the most honored position in a dining session. Most important guest usually sits to the right side of the host. Most important women usually occupies the right position beside the host. It is most common to see men occupying the seat right to the hostess. If a couple hosts a dining session, one will be seen at each end of the table. It is very common to see men and women sit next to one another. It is also very common to see couple separate themselves and sit next to people new to them. Men are expected to rise when women enter the room. It is appropriate to allow women enter the room first and hold the doors when they enter the room.
While eating at a restaurant, you are expected to share a table. To call a waiter, you may do it by making eye contact. It is an impolite practice to wave or call a waiter by name.