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I am eating fish right now and I thought I should node a rule in eating fish when in the presence of Chinese people (or for those who follow Chinese folklore).

Never Turn the Fish over

When you've picked all the meat from one side of the fish, you must reverse to the side of the fish where the remaining meat is. The reason why you must never turn the fish over is that the Chinese believe that the fish represents a boat, and if you turn the fish over, a sort of Voodoo effect will happen to you (or your family) the next time you will be on a boat. In other words, the boat will turn over, you'll drown and DIE A HORRIBLE BLACK DEATH!!!!

The correct way is to remove the whole skeleton of the fish so that there is no obstruction for your picking out of the meat.

I think you should pay close attention to this if you ever happen to be eating fish with Chinese people and especially at a Chinese restaurant. I don't think anybody really believes that if you've ever turned the fish over, that you'll die, but it is a tradition that is nevertheless followed for the sake of culture. I've done it once when I was a kid, and my mom just told me never to do it again. And I never did.

Maybe I was using the word 'Chinese' a bit too loosely here. wukong888 points out that he has never met anyone from the mainland and Taiwan that know of this 'tradition.' Some of his Cantonese friends however, practice this.

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