Food and settings - The Myanmar Way
This is about the Myanmar way of how to serve food. how to eat it. and what the backgrounds is when the Myanmar themselves meet to eat. Although it is not suggested for all foreign visitors to encounter these features. still a few suggestions might fins a favorable response and an understanding will be gained of the nature of it.
The Table's Atmosphere
Myanmar food table are usually small and rounded. The atmosphere desired is not one of elegance. polish or aesthetic success. What is desired is convivial closeness of those who gather to eat over a meeting of hands.
Crockery and Setting
Dishes should be small. unlike the large serving dishes of the West. They should be small but with depth. For relishes. pickles. dips. we can use a 3-4 inch diameter bowls. for normal curries. fried vegetables and salad. 5-7 inch diameter bowls. Suitable serving spoons of silver. other metal or even Chinaware are put into each curries and bowls.
Serving the Meal
Servers may hover about but only the big rice bowl is taken around by them. There are too many dishes to serve quickly enough from the side. Each person needs to help himself to get the dish he wants.
People must concentrate on eating instead of chatting. The hostess constantly dishes rice for guests who insist they have had plenty. Eating with fingers must not look messy. Myanmar use all the five fingers to eat. When finished. each guest may rise and go to the basin and wash with soap.
Invitation and Parties
There is a hospitality based on the food carrier. Perhaps only a few guests can be invited but you want to feast more than that number. There is not much of a printed invitation. except for ceremonies at Monastery and for weddings. The locals usually go around and invite the close friends. relatives and who-ever-so they want to invite. Since most of the Myanmar are Buddhist. many ceremonies are held at Monasteries called Ahlu. It is a joy and peaceful type of donation. Many curries and rice and served at the Monasteries. But nowadays. there are western style parties held at hotels.