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Woman Sparks Drama After Trying To Stop Her Boyfriend From ‘Educating’ A Chinese Woman About Slurping Her Food

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When it comes to dining etiquette, a woman and her boyfriend were not on the same page.

She understands that – in some cultures – people show appreciation for the food they’re eating in a way that can be perceived as rude by others.

When her boyfriend expressed his disapproval over the way their roommate was enjoying her noodles, Redditor Electronic_Stomach78 tried to prevent him from “educating” her.

The resulting tension led the Redditor to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit where she asked:

“AITA for not letting bf [boyfriend] correct a Chinese woman?”

The Original Poster (OP) wrote:

“We live in a shared house with a bunch of random Craigslist roommates. One of them is Chinese, and was sitting at the kitchen table during lunch time slurping her noodles and minding her own business.”

“My boyfriend had just come into the kitchen to eat his own lunch, and rather than ask her how her weekend was or anything other polite conversation he instead asks her, ‘Can I teach you something about culture?’”

“I knew he was going to tell her that Americans consider it rude to slurp food. But this woman wasn’t at a business event; she was in her own house and (in my opinion) can eat her own culture’s food however she damn well pleases, especially since she was sitting alone by herself first and we just happened to enter the same room after.”

“So I cut my boyfriend off and said, ‘Stop!’ He kept trying to talk to her. ‘Don’t say anything!’ I said again.”

via GIPHY

“He kept wanting to press the issue.”

“Ignoring me, he said, ‘I don’t care, but Americans think it’s rude to slurp your food.’”

“’Jeff – stop it! Drop it!’ I said, as she looked highly embarrassed and quietly continued eating her meal.”

“I apologized to her and said, ‘I apologize for Jeff‘s comment.’ And he said, ‘And I apologize for my girlfriend not letting me talk to you.’”

“I don’t think it’s Jeff’s place to ‘educate’ people who didn’t ask for feedback and were just trying to be comfortable in their own home.”

“He thinks I’m being a ‘culturally insensitive, racist liberal’ for not letting him ‘help’ teach her American customs.”

“Who’s being the a**hole here?”

The OP clarified a couple of points in an update.

“By ‘help’ teach her American etiquette, he meant that he wanted to tell her that Americans would find it rude if she slurped her food at a business lunch or such occasion, not that she had to stop doing it at home.”

“He worked as a ‘cultural consultant’ abroad, helping foreign business people secure deals with Americans by teaching them about customs and mannerisms and whatnot.”

“So I genuinely believe that Jeff thought he was doing her a favor by letting her know that others might be turned off by slurping. But I still think that it’s not his place to give such information unsolicited, and the minute you point out that ‘Americans’ find slurping rude, she’s going to feel self-conscious and judged about doing it at home, even if Jeff says it doesn’t bother him.”

Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked if and where guilt belongs by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Redditors weighed in with their responses that were mostly in favor of the OP’s effort to prevent unwarranted schooling.

“In a lot of Asian cultures, it’s considered rude if you don’t slurp someone’s cooking. She’s probably following her own customs and this boyfriend is definitely an a**hole.” – Ashloc

“Whoah, absolutely NTA. Jeff is a jerk, and this has nothing to do with politics.”

“It’s pretty clear he has no regard for other people’s feelings if their behavior doesn’t fit within the range of what he finds acceptable.”

“Also he’s probably one of those “We’re in America, you have to act American” guys, which is always TA in my book.” – xY703Hy4

“NTA he’s making assumptions about what the RM knows and doesn’t know. It’s racist arrogance disguised as “wanting to help” – Decent_Ad6389

“I’d like to suggest that if I were in the room mate’s position and it was clear I truly didn’t know that I was being rude to the locals, I would like to be told. After that it’s up to me.”

“That being said, Jeff was a d*ck and the ‘advice’ he delivered was for his own gratification, not to help her.” – His-wifes-throwaway

“Jeff’s ‘advice’ was unsolicited and rude. If you were seeking advice, you would ask someone you trusted. The roommate never asked Jeff to teach her American customs.” – KiddVideo82

“Yea…that he called you a racist liberal because of this incident seems like ya’ll probably have A LOT of irreconcilable differences that will come up again and again.”

“Which is why it’s always funny to me when people say don’t discuss politics in dating, when politics aren’t just about support for political parties in this country (America) but in fact, being liberal or conservative are about much deeper ideological and real life philosophies that suffuse everything you do, think, believe, how you act etc.” – LooksieBee

“Political disagreements are one thing. But OP was just trying to prevent her bf from being a jerk to a lady who was just minding her own business. If that triggers him into calling her a “racist liberal,” there’s some problems there.” – Cactusjack1984

“You are NTA for being compassionate and respectful and a decent human. Your boyfriend is the complete a**hole.”

“You hit it square on the head: they pay for that space and can eat as they please. Who gives a f’k about ‘American.’ America is literally a land of immigrants.”

“I think you did the right think and your boyfriend is the racist and culturally insensitive a**hole. Obviously other things are bothering him and he chose to take it out on a roommate. Never okay. Do not apologize for being decent.” – [deleted]

“I think he probably understood that context which is why he was so zoned in on it. My roommate is Taiwanese and is a good friend of mine. She slurps her food and I find it insanely grating and like nails on a chalk board.”

“It’s incredibly rude for how I was raised (in the US, we both live in the US). But I don’t say anything because it’s her apartment too and that’s how she’s used to eating and I’ve never seen her do it out in public really anyway.”

“So she wants to eat how she’s used to eating. But BOTH cultural contexts are valid and it’s not unimportant to understand if you live in another country what’s normal about their culture and considered respectful (slurping food is rude in most Western countries).”

“But the difference here is the woman was in her own home and not in some public restaurant unaware. She was eating how she was comfortable eating.” – intothethrowawaywego

“NTA. Wow. He apologized for his gf not letting him admonish a foreigner.”

“How would he feel in Japan if he was admonished for not wearing a mask, laughing loudly, not slurping, etc etc etc. He sounds like a complete jerk.”

“And he’s calling you liberal like it’s an insult? And racist for wanting to be polite? How can you stand that?”

“’Can I tech you something about culture?’ That’s so gross and condescending. He’s the one being culturally insensitive and judging by his use of the term ‘racist liberal’ I wouldn’t be surprised if he were an all lives matter racist chud.” – Darth_GlowWorm

Overall, the general consensus was that Redditors saw the boyfriend as a pretentious person who should have allowed her to eat the way she was accustomed to in the privacy of her home.

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Written by Koh Mochizuki

Koh Mochizuki is a New York-based actor and writer. Originally hailing from Los Angeles, he received his B.A. in English literature and is fluent in Japanese. Disney parks are his passion, and endless cups of coffee are a necessity. Instagram: kohster Twitter: @kohster1