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international dining etiquette

Benin

Dining etiquette for drinking. A Beninese host may pour guests a drink and take a sip before handing the guest the cup or glass. In turn, the guest takes a sip and spits a little on the floor before drinking. The host is showing the guest that the drink is safe. The guest is showing remembrance of the dead before participating in an essential act of the living.

Dining etiquette for eating. Benin food is spicy. There is the basic West African mixture of vegetables and rice, and the ubiquitous porridge made of different grains (corn flour makes WO, yam flour makes amala, and ground cassava makes gari). Meat is rarely available, and if it is served remember that no part of the animal is wasted: you eat everything, bones included.


- , Editor, Etiquette Scholar

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