It depends on it. The other answers already give more insight.
My addition for informal dinners with friends:
Friends just take their shoes off (if that’s just in the host family then, hey).To offer your help in preparing the meal in the kitchen can always be.
Bringing something for the host/wife is quite common.Bottle of wine or something tasty for coffee after dinner, bunch of flowers is often appreciated as well.
Washing off after meals is absolutely appreciated.And that is also often very pleasant.
Dinners with acquaintances or colleagues are much less informal, the shoes remain on and wash off, but you can also do yourself haha.At the same time, if you are invited as a colleague, and would like to attract the band, you can at least offer your help in the kitchen before eating, or help with the dishes after. These are clear signs that you would like to be more informative.
Great question and great answers.
I will tell you what I have done about stupid things in that regard.You can be amazed at so much social inadequacy.
Overdressed.Everything was fine and it turned out to be a casual dinner.
Underdressed.I had no opportunity between work and the food to go home yet. Was an urgent task. Don’t feel happy with it.
Shaved, but the neutral aftershave turned up, but that old bottle on alcohol basis, because with itching and red spots is also not tasty.And stink that did that stuff. I was hoping it would go away under the shower and I also thought that was so. Until I was in the car and even after an hour, when we sat at the table.
Go hungry at the table.That’s really not useful if you, like me, are a big eater. Either you are only half saturated, or you will be-rightly-for a screw head since.
Eat too fast.Does have a relationship with that previous tip. Is very unattractive, if someone has done his best to make it a neat and enjoyable meal.
Come too late.I was a bit of a workaholic and I always tried to have as little ‘ lost time ‘ as possible. You might be throwing a whole schedule confused and spoils it for everyone.
Come too early.Might be even worse. People sometimes need their time and a strange guy in the living room, while you want to be in the kitchen or even want to make the toilet in order, that’s super annoying.
All those things I have done.Yes, I have some autistic treks, so some of those things I have done several times before I was very much in it. If I’m not quite sure what the intention is, I’ll just ask. Is also not ideal, but it avoids at least the worst blunders.
An important difference is whether they literally asked you for a ‘ dinner ‘ or for a ‘ meal ‘ or to ‘ eat ‘.
If someone literally invites me to a ‘ diner ‘ at home, I’ll assume it has a certain official status.Where I always have to enquire about whether there is a ‘ dress code ‘ and who will come more.
In any case, that gives an idea of whether you can come in T-Shirt and jeans or have something officially dressed.
Let’s assume that it is indeed a ‘ diner ‘ and I am not the only invitee.My experience is that it usually starts with an informal snack and drink. And then invite someone to go to the table.
I always care-but that is because I do not want to fall-that I am not the first, but also not last at the table. Because I am left-handed ‘ I eat the other way around ‘, and the first thing I do while everyone is still working to sit down , my cutlery is flipping.That is still very unobtrusive at that time… At a later stage, ‘ High etiquette dinners ‘ can put an eyebrow in motion.
Furthermore, I think that general table manners as we know it in the West apply.
Mostly with those kind of dinners I am very much… I am therefore very careful that I do not look at GAAP and not too often on my watch.Checking that your watch is still ticking is completely out of the question in these situations.
If you are invited to eat at people’s homes, you usually take something small, such as a bottle of wine.There are also few commitments. There is not really a dresscode, or obligations (no, you do not have to wash off). Just keep an eye on the time and know when you can go home (usually when one of the guests starts looking glassy). A small anecdote is the language. A friend of me had only emigrated to the Netherlands and had some trouble me the nuances of the language. In particular the word “must”, which means another language almost an obligation that you can not get out of. For instance, “You have to eat some” literally in English will be a compelling phrase (as in, you can’t get out against your sentence to create a sign and eat it), whereas in Dutch this is rather a question where you can “no , thank you I have enough “to be able to answer. Usually, after a nice dinner, you need people to come along with you too.
It is expected that you are and remain.You can also bring snacks and something to drink. But that always depends on the situation of the host family. If there are young children they prefer not to bring wine or beer. Only something to snacking is more convenient. Think of a box thanks chocolate or After Eight chocolate. Do not take too much because what you bring will also be absorbed during the dinner…
Flowers can also be taken along but not everyone appreciates cut flowers.After a few days they are dead again. If you want to bring flowers, do something with a pot which continues to grow even if it has been bloated. Do not prefer flowers with a strong scent. (Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana is a must, because small, blooming and easy to maintain.)
What I often do when friends and myself come together is a bag of chips and a bottle of Coke.That is what everyone does so that the host is not being charged at any meeting. But that’s not a few dinners, but they play together more. (Think of board games, card games and so on.) But you have to talk to the other guests…
It is important that you try to estimate the House rules upon entering.So shoes off as the host family does too. Hat and other headgear also off, if the host family does.
Remember that the Netherlands is a mixture of cultures and one is quite tolerant of other cultures.If the host family is faithful and prays before the meal, please respect it. Observe and follow the family in their actions.
Also realise that many Dutch people have pets, including dogs and cats.Upon entering it is better to ignore these here and not be afraid of them. During the meal do not feed the dog under the table because that is a little rude. As if you didn’t like the food. And no, even if the host does, don’t do it yourself!
Assisting during the preparation, table decks and later washing is often appreciated, but first ask if you can help with it.Usually when the host is busy with this, you can use that moment for a conversation during work.
But be yourself and follow any clues that the host gives…
Regarding toilet use: always sit on the toilet of the host family, even if you have to urinate.Then the risk of leakage is smaller. Please note that there is also toilet paper for you going to defecate and use the air freshener if present. Also clean up your own brake tracks…:-)
But it is more convenient to go pooping before you come to visit…
If you feel like you have to say yes and make it cozy.If you do not feel like, you say that you can not. No big deal.
Usually you take something for the hostess/host, often flowers or a bottle of wine.Having a sociable together is usually what one expects from such an evening together and dinner. Don’t go unasked to explore the house, privacy!
Be especially sociable, bring a bottle of wine, wear a charming ornament, make sure you have a nice topical subject that is not laden and show interest in the food you are being put in.
Just be yourself.