17th
May
2013

Posted in Kafevend Blog

Act one, scene one: a dining room. The quality of the furniture suggests that whoever owns this house is probably quite well off. Four people enter from the right; a couple of couples, engaged in idle chit chat and laughing at each other's poor witticisms with an irritating "fnah, fnah". They take their seats as a sombre-looking fellow carries in a tray laden with finest china; he sets it down on the table and pours each one a cup of tea. As he leaves, the four grasp their tea cups with thumb, fore and middle finger, their pinkies jutting outward as if sandwiched between a couple of splints. What are they doing wrong?


It is not proper ettiquette to stick out your little finger when holding a cup! This common occurrence is attributed to a mix up over the three and five fingered eating rules for etiquette, based on the habits of the ancient Romans. Food was most often eaten using the hands, but high status Romans would only use the thumb, fore and middle finger, keeping the ring and little finger clean. The five fingered grip was how the commoners ate their food. The three fingered rule still applies when eating today, apparently.


So whilst holding a cup, keep your little finger curled in and be sure to look into the cup as you drink from it- if you look past it whilst engaged in a conversation, you might miss your mouth and make a bit of a mess!

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