Yum cha is a group activity that involves everyone around the table. As it’s centred on sharing, there are certain things to bear in mind when you’re being served or serving others. My grandmother, the eldest in our weekly yum cha gathering, has always been quick to straighten out everyone’s table manners. A few rules that she frequently mentions include finishing the last grain of rice in the bowl so a future spouse’s skin will resemble the smoothness of the clean bowl; and to never stick chopsticks straight down into a bowl of rice because it resembles incense for the dead and will bring bad luck. She also reminds us to never bang our chopsticks on the bowl for fun because that was what beggars used to do for attention and is thus believed to bring poverty to the family.Karen Chiang (BBC)