French Table Manners and Their Impact on the Ukrainian Etiquette in the Late 18th – Early 19th Century on the Territory of the Right-Bank Ukraine Cover Image

Французькі застільні манери та їх вплив на формування українського етикету наприкінці XVIII – у першій половині XIX століття на території Правобережної України
French Table Manners and Their Impact on the Ukrainian Etiquette in the Late 18th – Early 19th Century on the Territory of the Right-Bank Ukraine

Author(s): Oksana Mykhaliuk
Subject(s): Customs / Folklore, International relations/trade, 18th Century, 19th Century
Published by: Національна академія керівних кадрів культури і мистецтв
Keywords: table etiquette; table manners; rules of behavior; customs; rituals; French-Ukrainian cultural relations; the Right-Bank Ukraine;

Summary/Abstract: The article highlights the historical background of the formation of Ukrainian table etiquette influenced by French cultural customs and rituals. The author makes an attempt to prove that its formation has been affected by a number of factors related to the French-Ukrainian cultural relations during the late eighteenth – early nineteenth century. Table manners are an important part of the etiquette that was formed within the millennial history of civilizations. The contemporary investigation of the reciprocal relationships between French and Ukrainian countries comes down to two basic areas of research: the first pertains to the social ways and, secondly, it addresses the question of the cultural ways, so the investigation is led into social and cultural contexts. The process of table manners in Ukraine should explore the historical past and examine the factors that influenced on its formation. The present paper aims to investigate French table manners in general as well as its components, which appeared in the Ukraine due to French-Ukrainian cultural relations of the late eighteenth – early nineteenth century. The analysis proposed here continues the area of research initiated by V. Gusev, L. Novohatska, S. Matyash, О. Sahaydak, А. Debidur, P. Ann, J. Oberli. Cultural life of the Ukrainian people in the late eighteenth – early nineteenth century which inhabited the right bank lands of modern Ukraine, under different historical circumstances was subject to certain traditions and customs. Social events and receptions took an important place in etiquette. As for geographical source of etiquette in France there were customs (les coutumes of individual regions (Anjou, Aquitaine, Brittany, Burgundy, Alsace, Ile de France, Languedoc, Lorraine, Limousin, Picardy, Provence, Poitou, Normandy, Auvergne, Champagne) and some influential seniors. Late 18th – early 19th century is the period of activation of the French-Ukrainian cultural relations, the growth of French immigration in Ukraine, which was due to the public policy of the Russian government. In this historical time Poland regained its dominance throughout the Right-Bank Ukraine. Magnates and wealthy people were ruling power which not only dictate policy, but also promoted lifestyle. Among the French immigrants there were a lot of artists, teachers, scientists, architects. They became the bearers of Western culture in Ukraine and contributed to the inclusion of many of its elements to the domestic and public life. An important aspect of etiquette is the ability to correct behavior at table and use cutlery. These skills include three components: 1) the place of meals (furniture, interior design); 2) covering the tables (utensils, dishes, symbolic and decorative objects); 3) the atmosphere of dinners (dress hosts and guests, accompanying music, conversation). It should be noted that at that time the restaurant business in France is much developed. It is a time when many luxury restaurants contribute to the establishment of Paris as a European capital of good manners and exquisite cuisine. In Ukraine as prototypes to French clubs and salons public eating place such as taverns, storage sheds are built that mostly visited by men and travelers. They are analogues to modern restaurants and bars. On the territory of the RightBank Ukraine the people passed state regulations and meeting with visitors in the taverns. Taverns sometimes replaced with the town halls and the guest houses. In the 18th century the cutlery replenished with another attribute – a fork. By the time the fork had the shape known to our days. It was taken in a modern way: it is necessary to keep the teeth down in the left hand so that the end of the handle touches the palm slightly. A major breakthrough in the table setting was porcelain which became not only the utilitarian cutlery but also the work of art. It is mostly white porcelain painted with floral designs. Therefore, by now in the Ukrainian tradition of table setting preferred dishes that are covered with colorful patterns in a time when the in the West, especially in France, the fashion for different colors tableware: white, gray, beige, brown and even black are being introduced. Generally speaking, late 18th – early 19th century is the time when a spoon and a fork acquired its present form. It is in this historical period in Europe when people began to drink tea, coffee, chocolate and produce for their consumption some special dishes which had a nice aesthetic appearance (tea kettles, coffee pot, cream pot, chocolate pot). The perspectives on the study table manners cannot be questioned, because keeping the etiquette means the respect of human coexistence and promotes the better understanding among all members of ethnic communities.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 200-205
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: Ukrainian