In Germany, and in a German home there a definite eating hours. Everyone eats all of their meals with the family, and you should never be late because it is considered very rude.
Twelve is lunchtime for almost everyone in Germany. People all over Germany leave work at twelve to go home and eat with their families. Almost all shops and businesses close at around 12 and they don't reopen until about 1 or 2 pm (I've been told this is because of a German law that regulates when businesses can be open. Lunch is the bigger hot meal of the day. (kind of like dinner in America) After lunch it's the quiet hour. This is the time that you can't play you radio very loud, and it's polite to hold off calling someone at this time. German students usually use this time to do their homework, to study or to take a nap. (if they stayed up the night before)
In Germany dinner is a small light meal (similar to the American Lunch), and is eaten at different times in different families. Dinner is something small like a baguette and other breads, with cheeses, (Jarlsberg, cream cheese, and some French cheeses) ham, smoked sausages, and a salad.
When sitting at a German table for a meal, there are some differences in what is considered polite. You should always have both hands on the table or they should at least be visible. (unlike the American tradition that the left hand should be on your lap) Your plate should always be virtually clean after you eat. If you leave something on your plate it is thought to mean that you didn't like the food. When you are finished with your meal, as a signal to everyone, the fork and knife are placed together, tips toward the middle of the plate and handles toward your right hand.
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