A word to say before the meal
There’s a word to say before the meal in Japan. To say Itadakimasu is courtesy to show appreciation to all the living things we eat. Because we consider that we are taking lives away as much as we need to survive and must show appreciation to those lives we took.
Children are taught to put their palms together and say this word before every meal by their parents and also at school. And by the age of five or something, Japanese children do this action almost automatically.
A word to say after the meal
Gochisousama or politely Gochisousamadeshita is the word to say after the meal to show appreciation to lives we took in our meal. We also say this word with putting two palms together and heads down, sometimes it’s done with holding chopsticks between thumbs and point fingers.