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On The Light Side

June 3, 1986

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ When Gov. Robert D. Orr and aides sit down for dinner next Monday they may find sea slugs, jellied moose nose or elephant trunk on the menu.

The dinner will be a trial run to make sure Orr is well-prepared for some of intricacies of Chinese dining he may encounter during a trade visit to that country, says aide Donna J. Heimansohn.

″You’re between a rock and a hard place,″ she said. ″You don’t want to offend them by saying no, but you don’t want to embarrass them by doing God- knows-what at the table. The trick is to put on a show of trying it.″

Such exotic foods as sea slugs, jellied moose nose and elephant trunk may present an etiquette problem, she said, so Orr should know how to deal with them.

Orr and six other Hoosiers will leave for China June 14 with the hope of establishing economic ties with one of the Chinese provinces.

For the past year, Ms. Heimansohn has been researching Chinese etiquette to make sure the governor and his companions are prepared for the trip.

″At the practice dinner, everyone will use chop sticks,″she said. ″The governor will also be told where he is supposed to sit, when he should stand and when he should talk.″

She added that some banquets are up to 20 courses long and require pacing oneself.

″You can’t just pig out on the sweet and sour pork,″ she said. ″You also have to learn not to clean your plate too quickly or they’ll fill it up again.″

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