Chopsticks Etiquette

Using chopsticks for noodles, Tutorial for chopsticks, asian restaurant, Thai, Chinese cuisine Chinese people started using chopsticks long before spoons and forks were invented in Europe. Chopsticks then made their way to the rest of Asia like Japan, Korea and Vietnam. There are different styles of chopsticks. The Chinese variety is blunt on the eating end, while the Japanese prefer those with pointed tips. There are even short lengths for children for use. The most common chopsticks are made of wood or bamboo but there are chopsticks made from ivory, silver and even jade as well.

Here is a quick primer if you want to try eating with the Chopsticks next time you have your noodles.

Chopstick I - Rest the thicker part of the chopstick in the web between the thumb and the index finger. Wrap your thumb around it to anchor it and rest the thinner part on tip of your ring finger. This chopstick remains stationery.

Chopstick II- Hold the thicker part between the tip of the thumb, the index finger and the middle finger to move this chopstick to ‘pinch’ food from your plate. Make sure that the thinner ends of both the chopsticks are even and angled to the plate.

Remember, eating with chopsticks is not only about technique, there is a great degree of culture and tradition attached to it. There are strict chopsticks etiquettes differing by cultures across the East Asia. Here are some common don’ts.

  • Stick them vertically in the bowl.
  • Place them parallel on top of the bowl, it is believed to bring bad luck.
  • Put them in your mouth or lick bits of food stuck to them — use chopsticks only to transfer the food.
  • Use them as drumsticks or toothpicks, wave them or point at people/ things.
  • Dig them into the common dish or use to choose your piece.
  • Drop the piece you picked back into the shared dish; it is considered unsanitary.


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