The New Rules for Visiting a Czech Home

A recent survey reveals the do’s and don’ts of hosting Czechs and being a guest in a Czech home

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 28.08.2016 11:00 (updated on 28.08.2016)

Sure you entertain or visit Czech friends and relatives often but are you committing any of these host or guest etiquette faux pas without even knowing it?

The rules can change depending on the age or regional location of your hosts says a new survey conducted by IKEA and reported in Modern Apartment magazine.

Here’s how to be a good guest in any Czech home and how to treat Czech guests in a visit to yours:

Pre-dinner food prep 

Hosts under 45 (and in general those located in Prague) tended to be much more casual in dinner party settings, the survey revealed. No offense is taken should guests nibble while food is being prepared, assist with cooking, or help themselves to a drink from the fridge.

The majority of this age group also deemed it acceptable to serve things straight from take-out containers or boxes.

The older generation of interviewees (59 years and up) indicated that it is essential for different plates to be used for serving different courses, and were generally apalled by visitors who served themselves or got into the refrigerator. 

Watch out when washing up

Among all of the people interviewed, regardless of age, washing the dishes was something to be done only by close friends and family, though the research found that most guests are allowed to pour wine, wipe the table, or help with serving.

The older generation (45 and up) were sticklers for seeing that dishes are done immediately after the meal.

Forget about the five-second rule

The biggest crime against etiquette, according to the survey, would be to serve (or eat) food that has been dropped. People older than 45 were also generally less tolerant of those guests who would begin eating before everyone is seated and has a plate.

The survey also turned up some interesting facts about who visits whom and where:  

For 56% of respondents, family was the most frequently visited, while young people invited more friends and acquaintances into to their home than the 59-plus set, who mainly entertains relatives.

Visits usually take place in the living room, though the survey also discovered that 8 out of 10 Czechs yearn for a kitchen that is large enough to accomodate all of their guests.

Four out of 10 Czechs invite a visitor to their home at least once a month. While the vast majority of hosts were typically modest and satisfied with the fact that guests arrived, 91 percent are far more demanding guests.  

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