The phrase ‘have you eaten rice yet?’ is a social pleasantry used between friends and acquaintances along the same lines as saying ‘how are you?’ or ‘how’s it going?’ A person may respond, ‘eaten already’ or ‘not yet’. The phrase is another way of asking ‘have you eaten yet?’, but if the reply is ‘not yet’ there is every chance the two friends will end up eating together even if it’s just a quick snack.
A dialogue between two friends :

Boy: Have you eaten rice yet? (Typical greeting)
Girl: Yes, I’ve eaten. (Expected reply)
Boy: Where are you going? (The standard opening)
Girl: Over there! (Reply)
(Also a greeting couched like a question that requires no answer.)
by Lisa Pang January 27, 2021
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