Stereotyping has been quite the norm in our culture, very few would argue with that statement. And if you’ve been to a few dinner parties around here, you are sure to encounter the statement, “pulling a Noakhailla.” Probably because some great anthropologist who must not be named (we don’t really know who) observed that the locals from Noakhali leave immediately after dinner. Ever since that, anyone who decides to leave a dinner party she has to endure the above-mentioned idiom.
But that leads us to think: WHEN is the acceptable time for you to leave after dinner?
The answer depends on the nature of the dinner. Whether your host decides to throw a small dinner or a large one, don’t aim to reach there just in time for dinner, and more importantly, never leave right after it, unless you really HAVE to. And even so, you must give proper reasons for your decision. Noakhailla or not, that is just plain rude.
Cater after Even if it’s a small family gathering at your relatives’, or just a bunch of friends having dinner at a food joint, some manners should always be maintained. If it’s a homely affair, offer to help in the kitchen with the dishes (even though you know there’s bua chewing pan and ready to rub all the grease out of the plates), because it doesn’t hurt to be nice. Carrying your own cutlery and plates to the kitchen is a good call. Expressing your gratitude to the host is a must before leaving, considering your host is fine with it; some light chit-chat after dinner over a cup of coffee perhaps.
Dost the host If you and a couple of friends are out to eat, make sure you know if someone in the group who is hosting the outing. If there’s no one, offer to pick up the tab, and at least pay for yourself. But if there is a host, thank him/her and wait for them to get up and leave.
Grand etiquettes In large affairs, yes we have a lot of them, its a norm to say goodbye to your host before you exit the venue/house. Since the festivities are on a grander scale, one can be excused “pulling a French leave” (feel better, Noakhalites) but only when you have a trusted friend staying back to pass on a goodbye message to the host, from you. A follow-up call or text is always welcomed if the host is close to you.
All that being said, “pulling a Noakhailla” is only as bad overstaying your welcome. But we’ll get to that some other time.