How to Use Your Napkin?

  • Place your napkin on your lap.
  • Do not tuck your napkin into the collar of your shirt or the front of your dress.
  • Never flap your napkin when opening the folds. Do this gently, preferably below the table top and just above your lap.
  • A dinner napkin can be very large, it is alright to leave it half folded on your lap.
  • Do not use a napkin as a handkerchief. Use it to dab your lips or wipe your fingers gently.
  • If your napkin falls on the floor, ask the server for a new one. Don’t try and pick it up. The same goes for silverware.
  • Keep your napkin on your lap until you leave the table.
  • When you leave the table place your napkin in loose folds at the left side of your plate, never on top of the plate.
  • In case you have to leave the table in the middle of the meal, place your napkin on the seat of your chair and place it back on your lap when you return.
  • Don’t use the table cloth instead of your napkin to wipe your hands.
  • At a buffet, place your used napkin separately on the sideboard or a side table. Don’t put it with the dirty dishes or on the buffet table.
  • If your fingers get dirty, and it happens when you eat with your fingers, use a paper napkin to wipe the grease and masala rather than wiping your hands on the cloth napkin.
Krishna Sahai
Krishna Sahai

Krishna Sahai took voluntary retirement as a senior Commissioner of Income Tax of the Indian Revenue Service to follow alternative paths. A multi-talented person, she is a trained Bharata Natyam dancer and has also published a book on the subject. Krishna has imbibed the old traditions of Avadhi culture from her family and is concerned about preserving the vanishing cuisines of India. She consults on financial and business matters apart from running a not-for-profit organization.

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