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Thank you my Lord - Finger Tapping

There is an Dim Sum ritual that has an historic origin. When you see tea-drinkers tapping the table with three fingers of a hand, do not think it is a superstitious gesture. It is a silent expression of gratitude to the member of the party who has refilled their cup. The gesture recreates a tale of Imperial obeisance.

The story tells...

The story tells of a Qing Dynasty emperor who used to go out on his lands on incognito inspection visits. While visiting South China, he would switched roles with one of his companions by dressing as each other. During one visit, they went into a teahouse. The real emperor would pour tea for his companion, the psuedo king, to perserve his true identity. His shocked companion wanted to bow to him for the great honor he was doing. Instead of revealing their identity, cleverly the companion tap three fingers on the table. One finger represented his bowed head and the other two represented the prostrate arms.

Ever since, this tale became the basis for the custom of discreetly tapping your acknowledgment of a tea-drinking "Thank You" gesture..

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