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The tradition of using chopsticks has been passed down from generation to generation in China. The Chinese use chopsticks, while westerners use knives and forks for eating. This just shows the difference between Chinese and Western culture when it comes to eating.
As a part of your adventures in China, chances are that you will be offered chopsticks when eating. Learning how to use chopsticks is often an interesting experience for travelers.
The Chinese are quite particular about using chopsticks. Just following the instructions below and give it a try.
Instructions for using chopsticks
- Place one chopstick (the lower one) in the joint between the thumb and forefinger, and rest its lower end below on the ring finger as shown. In this case, the chopstick is fixed.
- Place the other chopstick (the upper one) between your thumb and forefinger, with the side of the chopstick resting against the tip of your thumb, the top of the chopstick, resting against the pad of your forefinger. Use the tips of your thumb to keep it in place.
- Make sure the two lower ends of the chopsticks are even and the two chopsticks are on the same plane.
- Keep the lower chopstick stationary and move the upper one toward the stationary one to pick up food.
- Hold the food firmly as you lift it toward your mouth.
- Don’t use chopsticks to toy with one’s food or dishes.
- Don’t place the chopsticks unevenly instead of neatly after used.
- Don’t point at someone with chopsticks, as it is considered impolite.
- Don’t search for food in the serving dishes with your chopsticks.
- Don’t bang your chopsticks as though you were playing a drum.
- Don’t suck on the tip of the chopsticks.
- Don’t make noises when eating.
- Don’t stick chopsticks into a bowl of rice if you need to rest your chopsticks, because it resembles traditional offerings for the dead. Leave them on the chopstick rest or by the side of your bowl or plate.
- Don’t use your own chopsticks to get food for yourself if there are serving spoons or chopsticks on the table.
Practice makes perfect! With a little practice, you will be able to use chopsticks with ease. No doubt learning how to use chopsticks would be an unforgettable experience along enjoying your China travels.