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Types of Banquet in Chinese Food Culture

Chinese celebrate any occasion by organizing a big banquet party. There are two distinct styles of banquet in Chinese food culture. They are the "Hoe style" and the "jui shi". The hoe style literally refers to the home-style banquet and the jui shi refers to the formal style of banquet. The home-style banquet is served with a fine combination of four to six cold dishes. The Cold dishes are presented in a variety of attractive colors like white, tan, pink, green and brown. A typical home style-banquet consists of a number from nine to ten. They gather round the table and it includes a wide range of dishes like vinegar pork

shank and popular soups like fish lining, birds nest and sharks fin. The main course of foods in a family banquet consist of sea cucumber, crocodile meat, seasonal vegetables dishes, fresh fruits and sweet soups for desserts.

Formal banquets are arranged to entertain guests on traditional occasions and for other business purposes. In a formal banquet, one has to send invitation cards and display guest's name cards on the table are very important. There are no strict rules applied on the topic of conversation in a formal banquet. The conversation can be carried according to the closeness of relationship and it is the responsibility of the host to see that guest is served in a proper way. The good topics for a formal banquet are discussing about mutual benefits, to make up a strong bond and the desire to reciprocate hospitality. Chinese formal banquets are generally held at big restaurants with a variety of regional and sub regional foods.

The seating arrangement in a formal Chinese banquet is based on the ranking and status of the person. It is customary in a formal banquet that the guest stars to enjoy the meal only after the host serves a portion of the main food in the guest plate. The guest generally takes seat to the right side of the host. Drinking is an essential part in a Chinese formal banquet. The food served at the formal banquet conveys the specialty and joy of the celebration. A popular habit in a formal banquet is that the guest is expected to make one toast during the mealtime. Chinese formal banquet is a way of establishing relationship in making them to know each other closer.

The Chinese banquet system is an important way of establishing "Gaunxi" in Chinese culture. Chinese banquets are held to celebrate any occasion and for other important establishments and it become an important part in establishing and maintaining relations in their Culture.

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