Foreigners apparently find the noodle slurping custom in Japan to be quite disturbing that some have even expressed that the sound would put them off from sitting next to someone.
In a morning Japanese news show “Tokudane!” via Matome Naver, the hosts talk about “noodle harassment,” or as they call it in Japan nuuhara, which is short for nuudoru harasumento.
The show spoke to some of the foreign tourists and asked them about what they think of the Japanese’s noodle eating habits — mainly the noodle slurping — and surprisingly, some of them, two sets couples — one from Sweden and the other from the United States, didn’t shy away from saying the “slurping sounded like a pig.”
A first-time tourist in Japan from New Zealand, meanwhile, admitted that the sound made her not want to sit next to someone.
A young male tourist from the United Kingdom also didn’t mince his words, and said that if he catches his friends slurp like that, he would immediately tell them to shut up.
Meanwhile, in another Japanese TV program, the show listed down some of the complaints from foreigners when they encounter someone slurping noodles including how it sounded like a toilet flushing and pig noises, just like the tourists above.
While this was cited back in 2017, the noodle harassment issue apparently continues to come up to this day as the Japanese media recently covered a similar topic where they spoke to a male tourist from France saying he was bothered and annoyed whenever someone slurps next to him.
— はるか (@Kg5GhATZPPA1WKx) May 4, 2019
However, the original poster of the tweet noted that most young women these days don’t slurp their noodles anymore. While these foreigners point out that the Japanese have a custom of slurping noodles, some Japanese people actually do not follow this food trend. As noted by Kotaku, some cannot slurp, while others see this as bad manners.
It is still unclear, though, why some people love slurping their noodles. It was suggested in the report that slurping can cool down the hot noodles and also helps with the flavor as this opens up your nasal passages, allowing you to smell the broth as you eat the noodles.
Regardless of the reason behind this habit, people should be free to eat their food the way they want to in their country.