Noteworthy peculiarities of Eastern meal culture
Do you know everything about using chopsticks? There are certain rules an ordinary American wouldn't understand.
Different nations consume food in different ways. The majority of people traditionally use a fork, a spoon and a knife, while 30% of people eat using chopsticks. Though it is quite simple to manage a fork, there are lots of unexpected rules connected with the usage of chopsticks.
There are different types of chopsticks
There are four countries where chopsticks are predominantly used for eating: China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. In Thailand, chopsticks are used for noodles or soup only. Chopsticks can be made from wood, metal, bones, elephant ivory and plastic. It is believed that Chinese emperor used silver chopsticks to test if the food was poisoned. Silver gets dark when reacting with poisoned food.
There are slight differences between chopsticks from different countries depending upon the type of food that is mostly consumed. For instance, Japanese ones have sharp tips to remove fish bones.
From top to bottom: Taiwan melamine chopsticks, Chinese porcelain chopsticks, Tibetan bamboo chopsticks, Vietnamese palmwood chopsticks, Korean stainless steel flat chopsticks with matching spoon, Japanese couple's set (two pairs), Japanese child's chopsticks, and disposable waribashi (in wrapper).
Eating with chopsticks is good for your children
Do you know that children who learned how to use chopsticks until they become one-year-old become develop faster than their counterparts who can use a spoon?
Chopsticks are surrounded by many cultural prejudices. The rules are different depending upon the particular country but there are common ones that you should comply with.
Strict rules of using chopsticks
There are two main functions you can perform by means of chopsticks: put the food onto your plate or into your mouth. Most of other functions are either undesirable or strictly forbidden.
- Don't tap by your chopsticks against the table, the plate or anything else to call the waiter.
- Don't draw with the chopsticks.
- Don't search for a better piece of food using chopsticks.
- Once you touched a piece, you should take it and eat.
- Don't pin food on the chopsticks.
- Don't shake the chopsticks to cool your food.
- Don't lick the chopsticks or keep them in your mouth for a long time.
- Don't point at anything using chopsticks.
- Don't move dishes with help of the chopsticks. Do it with your hands.
- You should put the chopsticks on the table before asking for additional serving of rice.
- Do not ever leave the chopsticks vertically stuck into a bowl of rice because it resembles the ritual of incense-burning that symbolizes "feeding" the dead and death in general.
Here is a short and nice tutorial for you to know the proper way of holding the chopsticks:
Have you ever tried chopsticks? Did you manage to hold them? Tell us about your experience in the commentaries below!
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