Be sure to use your chopsticks correctly



The first chopsticks are believed to have come into use over 5000 years ago in China. Early Asian man retrieved his food from the fire by means of a stick or branch. As populations grew and resources became scarcer, people started cutting food into smaller pieces, which meant faster cooking times (using less fuel) and eliminated the need for knives. Thus chopsticks – known locally as [kuàizǐ] became all that was needed.

With the spread of Confucianism the use of chopsticks then became confirmed as the right way to eat. According to Confucius: ‘The honourable and upright man keeps well away from both the slaughterhouse and the kitchen. And he allows no knives on the table.’

And wherever chopsticks are used:

– Do return your chopsticks to the table after every few bites and when you stop to drink or speak.
– Don’t cross your chopsticks when you place them on your chopstick rest.
– Don’t use mismatched chopsticks.
– Never place your chopsticks across your rice bowl.
– Don’t plant your chopsticks in your food – it reminds people of the incense sticks typically standing up in sand at Buddhist funerals. Passing food from one pair of chopsticks to another resembles the way bones are handled by families after the cremation of a relation. If you want to pass some food from your plate to someone else’s, pick it up, place it on a separate plate, and allow the other person to pick it up with their own chopsticks.


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