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餐桌礼仪的发展演变

时间:2014-03-23 13:37:50  来源:  作者:

 The history of table manners

Mealtime etiquette has relaxed hugely since Mrs Beeton's time. Do manners still matter?
餐桌礼仪的发展演变
自比顿夫人时代之后,餐桌上的礼仪要求就大大放宽了。当今社会,餐桌礼仪还重要吗? 
Jonathan Jones
作者:乔纳森. 琼斯
A detail from Grace at Table by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin (1740) Photograph: © Francis G. Mayer/CORBIS
In a painting by the 18th-century French artist Chardin, two young children are sitting down to eat. Their table is set in the kitchen of a great house, with pots and pans hanging on the walls, but it is elegantly laid. There is a cloth on the table, and two grand chairs for the children to sit at as they use their silver cutlery under a maid's supervision. It is 1740, and they are learning to eat. Or rather, they are learning table manners.
《餐前祈祷》- 法国画家让-巴普蒂斯特·西蒙·夏尔丹创作于1740年。摄影:弗朗西斯.G.迈尔/卡比斯
在十八世纪法国杰出画家夏尔丹这副画里,有两个孩子们正坐着吃东西。桌子设在一间大房子里的厨房,一些锅和盘子雅致地挂在墙上。餐桌上有台布,小孩子坐在两张华丽的椅子上,在一名女仆的照顾下用着银制餐具。这是1740年,这些孩子正在学吃饭,或者更恰当地说,他们在学习餐桌礼仪。
Where does food end and etiquette begin? Table manners define the meaning of a meal. Eating is a physical need, but meals are a social ritual. The 150th anniversary of Mrs Beeton's book Household Management this autumn draws attention to this weird and wonderful world of manners. In many ways it is a very modern book: Mrs Beeton's recipes and kitchen tips are the kind of thing you still get in cookery books today. Maybe her language is a bit clinical: there's a chapter on how to cook "quadrupeds". But the one thing that truly places the book in the past is its advice on table manners.
什么时候用餐结束,什么时候礼节开始?餐桌礼仪精确规定了用餐时间。吃饭是一个生理需要,但是用餐却是一个社交仪式。在这个秋天,值比顿夫人的书《家务管理》出版一百五十周年纪念日之际,人们被带入了这个神秘而美好的礼仪世界。从很多方面讲,这是一本很时尚的书:比顿夫人的食谱及厨房小妙招你在今天的烹饪书上仍能看到。也许她用的语言稍微有点生僻:比如,有一章是讲如何烹饪“四足动物”。但是真正让这本书在过去风靡一时的是,它给以人们以餐桌礼仪的建议。
At a dinner party, "the lady begins to help the soup … commencing with the gentleman on her right and on her left, and continuing in the same order till all are served. It is generally established as a rule, not to ask for soup or fish twice, as in so doing, part of the company may be kept waiting for the second course." The complex rules set out by Mrs Beeton still exist (at a formal hall high table at an Oxbridge college, say), but even at the smartest restaurants, the rigorous order of Mrs Beeton's dining table is rarely preserved nowadays.
在晚宴上,“这位夫人开始给大家盛汤...... 先是给左右两边的两位绅士,然后继续沿着同一顺序给在座所有人奉上汤。这是一项基本规矩,不能重复要汤或鱼,如果这样做的话,有的客人就需要花时间等待第二道菜。” 那些由比顿夫人设定的规矩至今仍有用(比如,剑桥大学的高桌晚宴),但是今时今日,即使在服务最好的饭店,比顿夫人严格的餐桌秩序也难以延续。
It was, in fact, the culmination of hundreds of years of changing manners. The children learning their table etiquette in Chardin's 1740 painting are in the avant-garde of a cultural revolution. Cutlery, as opposed to eating with your fingers; sitting up straight in a high-backed chair; these were innovations in the way people defined themselves at table in 18th-century Europe. New meals were even invented specifically as occasions for polite manners: the English tea time dates from the 1700s and is richly illustrated in paintings by Hogarth and Devis. They show the stylised rituals of pouring the tea and holding the delicate porcelain cup.
实际上,这是几百年来礼仪不断变化、高起迭落的结果。夏尔丹1740年画作里学餐桌礼仪的孩子是文化变革的先锋一代。用刀叉,而不是用手吃饭,挺拔地坐在高背椅上,这是十八世纪欧洲人餐桌礼仪的变革。人们甚至为了礼仪特别创造了新的用餐形式:在十八世纪贺加斯和戴维斯的画作里就经常出现英式下午茶。人们用一套规范的仪式倒茶、手持精致的瓷杯。
Europeans in the middle ages had had little ceremony when it came to food. Their manners consisted of making sure they didn't get too greasy when tearing meat with their fingers. Chaucer's 14th-century Canterbury Tales portrays an elegant prioress as a mistress of medieval manners: "At meat well y-taught was she withal; She let no morsel from her lips fall, Ne wet her fingers in her sauce deep; Well could she carry a morsel and well keep That no droppe ne fell upon her breast."
中世纪欧洲用餐前几乎没有什么仪式,所谓礼仪不过是在用手指撕肉时不要让手弄得太油腻。在14世纪乔叟《坎特伯雷故事集》里描述了一个优雅的女修道院院长衷情于中世纪习俗:“不可有食物碎屑从嘴角掉出来,蘸酱不弄将手弄湿,她可以优雅地收拾起食物碎屑而不会掉在胸前的衣襟上。”
This is the height of British table manners five centuries before Mrs Beeton. And Chaucer, of course, is laughing at this over-refinement.
比顿夫人还没出现之前,英国五世纪餐桌礼仪的高度就是如此。当然,乔叟是在笑话这些礼仪过分精细。
Go back thousands of years to the early Homo sapiens who lived at Cheddar Gorge, and gnawed bones found in the cave suggest the kind of mealtimes that were enjoyed here. Oh, some of those gnawed bones are human by the way. And a cup formed from a human skull has also been found.
让我们追溯到几千年以前,切达峡谷曾住着古老的切达人,在山洞中发现的一些被咬过的骨头说明他们曾在那里享受过餐点。哦,顺便说一下,有的骨头是人类的骨头。还发现了一个人的颅骨做成的茶杯。
The rich courtly gear of a Saxon king found at Sutton Hoo, meanwhile, includes a massive cauldron and drinking horns, suggesting the importance of feasting to our ancestors. But there is nothing to indicate any refinement – there is no Sutton Hoo toothpick. Only in Renaissance Europe do paintings and artefacts reveal the dawn of table manners: just to contemplate the extreme beauty and fragility of a 16th-century Venetian wine glass is to realise how sophisticated the parties were where such miraculous ware was used.
在萨顿胡发现了撒克逊王族华贵而代表, 同时,还发现了巨大的王室威严的用具,同时,还发现了锅炉和喝酒的觚,摆宴对于我们老祖宗的重要性可见一斑。但是却没有精致可言-没有萨顿胡牙签。只有在欧洲文艺复兴时期的画像及手工制品才揭示出一些餐桌礼仪:凝视着16世纪彩色红酒杯让人震撼的美丽与脆弱,才能明白那里曾经有过如何奢华的宴会,用过何种精美得不可思议的器皿。
Today, it might seem as though we have returned to the sloppiness of medieval feasting, or even Cheddar Gorge. Barbecued wings and legs eaten with your hands, burgers, crostini, pizza. The finger foods of the world merge in a great casual banquet, often eaten in front of the TV. Only at restaurants is some semblance of high dining still maintained. And yet, in truth, the rise of table manners shapes our lives as firmly as it did those children painted by Chardin. We still see straight-backed chairs and laid-out cutlery as essential to a "proper" meal. We still drink out of individual glasses. We may go to Starbucks instead of rushing home for a traditional English tea, but the consumption of a latte is a stylised act.
今天,看起来仿佛又兴起了中世纪风,甚至有的带着切达峡谷原始风味。用手吃着烤翅、烤鸡腿,碎肉夹饼、白面包片和披萨。世界上用手吃的食形成了休闲宴,人们常常坐在电视机前用手吃东西。只有在饭店还保留了一些用餐礼节。 然而,实际上,餐桌礼仪的提升牢牢地塑造了我们的生活,就如同夏尔丹画作里的孩子们一样。到较正式的场合用餐时,我们仍会看到直背的椅子,摆好的成套餐具是基本的配备。我们仍然用各自的杯饮酒。我们有时会跑到星巴克享受一杯咖啡,而不是赶回家喝杯传统英式茶, 但是喝杯拿铁不过是个习惯行为。
As Mrs Beeton said, all creatures eat, but "man only dines". Etiquette changes radically but it always exists. In manners as in recipes, we are not so far as we might think from her well-regulated world.
比顿夫人说,万物生灵都要吃,但是“唯有人进餐”。礼节不断地在改变,但是却一直存在。也许我们离她的井然有序的生活并没有有想象中那么远。
 
备注:
1.Corbis / 卡比斯是国际图片代理机构
2. 杰弗里·乔叟(Geoffrey Chaucer,1342年—1400年),英国中世纪著名作家,出生于一个酒商家庭。1359年随爱德华三世的部队远征法国,被法军俘虏,不久以黄金赎回。乔叟当过国王侍从,出使许多欧洲国家,两度访问意大利,发现了但丁、薄伽丘和彼特拉克的作品,对他的文学创作起了极大的作用。代表作:《坎特伯雷故事集》(The Canterbury Tales)其他作品《公爵夫人之书》(Book of the Duchess)、《声誉之宫》(The House of Fame)、《百鸟会议》(The Parliament of Fowles)。
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