10 rules for the table, from the Latvian Household Calendar of 1937

The Latvian calendar has never been a mere catalog of days, but also an encyclopedia and a compendium of advice on various matters of living, the specialists of the National Library of Latvia (LNB) told Latvian Radio on July 2. For example, the “Household Calendar of 1937” provides advice on table manners.

A fragment from the calendar – 10 rules for the table:

1. If you do not know how to eat a certain food or use a certain utensil, you must be patient. Wait and see what the others will do.

2. Be careful with mustard and horseradish.

3. Do not be gluttonous, and see to it that your eyes do not betray your hunger.

4. Do not eat as fast as you would in a railway station restaurant, or slower than others.

5. Do not speak while eating fish, or else a fishbone might get stuck in your throat.

6. If your knife or fork falls on the floor, let the waiter pick it up and replace it with a clean one.

7. Pay attention to the proportions of the dishes. Do not take as much of caviar as you would of sauerkraut.

8. If you happen to find a hair in your soup or a worm in your salad, remove it discreetly so as not to ruin others’ appetites.

9. Do not stuff your pockets with fruit, biscuits or cigars.

10. Do not leave any food on the plate.

The “Household Calendar” was published by Gērta Anna, owner of the Gērta bookshop in Rīga, according to the data base of the National Library of Latvia. The calendar was issued for only two years.

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