The Importance of Politeness and Good Manners in Dining

Discover the importance of politeness and good manners in dining. From table settings to hosting etiquette, learn how these values enhance social interactions and create a pleasurable dining experience.

The Importance of Politeness and Good Manners in Dining
A well-set table adorned with a small pitcher, a sunflower, and an embroidered napkin creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests.

In many cultures around the world, including Mexico, politeness and good manners are considered essential qualities to uphold, even in the humblest of households. These values are particularly emphasized during mealtime when families come together to share a meal and impart valuable lessons to their children.

It is through these dining experiences that children are taught important etiquette such as not talking with their mouths full, eating with their mouths closed, and refraining from putting elbows on the table. The goal is to instill a sense of respect and decorum, ensuring that individuals can navigate social situations with grace and civility.

Welcoming Atmosphere

Regardless of the economic status or size of a home, it is possible to present a well-arranged table that exudes warmth and hospitality. With just a small pitcher, a sunflower, and an embroidered napkin, one can create an inviting ambiance. The key lies not only in the physical elements of the table setting but also in the way guests are entertained.

Protocol and hosting skills play a crucial role in making guests feel welcome and comfortable. By understanding the intricacies of serving a table, such as knowing who should be served first, where to place the plates, and which side the cutlery, glasses, and napkins should be placed on, hosts can demonstrate their attentiveness and respect for their guests.

The Pleasure of Dining

Beyond the aesthetics of a well-set table, there is a great pleasure to be found in the act of dining itself. In Mexico, it is heartening to witness the evolving customs that encourage fraternization and conversation while eating. Dining is no longer merely a means to satisfy hunger; it has become a ritual, an experience to be savored and enjoyed. Gastronomy, in all its culinary delights, takes on a special significance during mealtime. The act of sharing a delicious meal with pleasant company, engaging in stimulating conversations, and forging deeper connections is truly incomparable.

Politeness and Good Manners

Politeness and good manners extend far beyond the dining table, impacting various aspects of our lives. These qualities not only enhance personal interactions but also contribute to our professional and social success. When we practice good manners, we demonstrate respect for others, fostering positive relationships and building a strong sense of community. Additionally, being well-mannered enables us to navigate social situations with ease and confidence, leaving a lasting impression on others.

To cultivate politeness and good manners, it is crucial to instill these values from an early age. Parents, guardians, and educators play a vital role in teaching children the importance of respect, consideration, and proper behavior. Through consistent reinforcement of dining etiquette, children learn to be mindful of their actions and develop a sense of self-discipline. By providing guidance and leading by example, adults can create a nurturing environment that fosters the growth of these essential qualities.

A beautifully arranged table set with exquisite china and elegant floral centerpieces.
A beautifully arranged table set with exquisite china and elegant floral centerpieces creates a stunning visual feast for the eyes.

Table Manners in Mexico

When setting a table in Mexico, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, the table should be clean and well-set. The tablecloth should be pressed and wrinkle-free, and the silverware should be polished. Second, the napkins should be folded neatly and placed to the left of each plate. Third, the glasses should be placed above the knife and fork.

The order of service is also important in Mexico. The first course is usually soup or salad, followed by the main course. The main course is usually accompanied by rice, beans, and tortillas. Dessert is often served after the main course.

It is also important to be polite to your fellow diners. This means not talking with your mouth full, not making a lot of noise when you eat, and not reaching across the table. It is also important to offer food to your guests and to thank them for their compliments.

How to Set a Table in Mexico

Here are the steps on how to set a table in Mexico:

  1. Place a tablecloth on the table.
  2. Place a dinner plate in the center of the table.
  3. Place a salad plate above the dinner plate.
  4. Place a bread plate above the salad plate.
  5. Place a fork to the left of the dinner plate.
  6. Place a knife to the right of the dinner plate.
  7. Place a spoon to the right of the knife.
  8. Place a water glass above the knife.
  9. Place a wine glass above the water glass.
  10. Place a napkin to the left of the forks.

If you are serving soup, you will also need to place a soup spoon to the right of the knife. If you are serving dessert, you will also need to place a dessert fork and spoon to the right of the knife.


Politeness and good manners are deeply ingrained in Mexican culture, even in the humblest of households. The dining table serves as a platform for imparting these values to future generations. By upholding etiquette, we demonstrate our respect for others and our ability to navigate social situations with grace.

The act of dining becomes more than a mere means to satisfy hunger; it transforms into a ritual, allowing us to forge deeper connections with others and derive immense pleasure from the experience. So, let us cherish the time spent around the table, savor the delicious food, engage in meaningful conversations, and embrace the power of politeness and good manners in every aspect of our lives.