How to Use Chopsticks: Avoid Killing Everyones Appetite With These 9 Useful Tips

How to Use Chopsticks: Avoid Killing Everyone's Appetite With These 9 Useful Tips

As you've probably already noticed, simply moving food from your plate to your mouth using chopsticks will earn you approving nods and compliments from your Chinese dining compatriots. But it's one thing to knowbasic chopsticketiquette such as "never insert chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice," and another entirely tomaster the art of this centuries-old cutlery. Below we've rounded upnine rules to keep in mind so that you never accidentally kill the convivial dining vibe.

1) Never insertchopsticks vertically into a bowl of food. Likely the best-known taboo on this list, you should never insert your chopsticks verticallyinto a bowl of food even for convenience. That's because the effect is likely to remind people of burning incense, which are often placed in a pot as asacrifice for the dead.

2) Do not use chopsticks of different lengths. If you do, you risk reminding your friends and colleagues of theChinese idiom sn chng ling dun"three long and two short," which is a euphemism for a coffin given that they are composed of five boards:three longand two short.

3) Dont use your chopsticks to rummage around.It is considered rude to prod and poke at a dish without knowing which morsel you want (although hot pot is oneexception). The same goes for soups or any shared dishes where a shared spoon or chopsticks are provided.

4) Do not drop your chopstick on the floor.This onegoes without saying for sanitary reasons but there's another reason you should avoid dropping your chopsticks:Chinese people believe that doing so would disturb their ancestors, who areresting underneath the earth.

5) Dont tap theside of your bowl using your chopsticks. The action of tapping on the side of your bowl with your chopsticks is usually associated with beggars, whoused to do thisback in the day to get attention or ask for food.

6) Never pick up food with the wrong ends of the chopsticks. Using the wrong end of your chopsticks is considered an actof losing face given that the fatter end represents the "face" of the chopsticks. One exception would be if there are no communal chopsticks handy, someone may turn their chopsticks around to serve another person so as to be polite and not contaminate thefood.

7) While eating, never hold the chopsticks and point with your index finger. Using your index finger to point at someone while you're holding chopsticks is considered the equivalent of giving someone the finger.

8) Do not suck on your chopsticks. While slurping noodles and scoffing rice from the bowl is acceptable, the same courtesy is not applied to chopsticks and sucking on them or using them noisilyis considered poor form.

9) Dont rest your chopsticks on the table crisscrossed. As an elongation of polite behavior, it's best to treatyour chopsticks with respect,placing themparallelon your rice bowl during the meal and once you have finished, rather than leaving them directly on the table (unless you have been provided a chopstick holder). If you finish your meal before others at your table, you can also indicate that you're in no rush to leave with a simplenmen mn ch"Enjoy your food."

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A version of this article originally appeared on our sister sitebeijingkids.

Photo: Nearsay


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