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Recently I got yelled at by a stranger (middle-aged man) when I was eating pizza, which I purchased at a cheap restaurant (and chose take-away), sitting on a bench in Riga. He just said something to me while he was passing in front of me, which I ignored since I didn't understand Latvian or Russian, but then in a few seconds he looked back and said something to me again.

It was clear that he was telling me something about my pizza, given his gesture (he used a hand gesture of eating pizza). He didn't stop walking and simply said something to me while walking. I feel he was not in a positive tone.

So I wonder if it is considered bad manners to eat in public places in Latvia, such as on a bench or in a park.

I found one interesting answer on Quora, to a question titled "What are some cultural taboos in Latvia?":

  • Another cultural taboo is being disrespectful to food. If you throw around pieces of bread and stuff while eating, expect to be scolded by a concerned Latvian.

Is it socially acceptable or considered inappropriate to eat pizza in public places in Latvia?

  • 1
    The same thing happened to me while eating on a sidewalk in France mid-afernoon. I am originally French, but I've lived so many years in the US, that's one of the habits I've picked up. In any case, I know I break taboos in the US when I dunk my croissant in my coffee. And I know I break taboos in France when I eat a kebab sandwich while walking on the street, but I clean up after myself. And as long as I don't eat in France on a city bus, or in a museum, or in a church, or inside a store, etc., I don't see a problem with my behavior. – Stephan Branczyk Sep 23 '17 at 12:59
  • You encountered some eccentric individual.. Maybe he was just pointing out that pizza is not a Latvian dish so you should enjoy something else. Anyway, it is OK to eat pizza in public places. – Mefistofelis Sep 27 '17 at 14:40
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No such taboo exists anywhere in Europe. People routinely eat on the streets, in cars, on buses and other 'non-standard' places. There is in fact a folk saying in Slavic countries about avoiding throwing out bread, but it doesn't apply to your scenario and it's not really relevant in modern times when food is plentiful. So enjoy your pizza anywhere you go without concerns.

Source: traveling to the Baltic countries.

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