China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam are some countries which the chopsticks are peculiar to. They are the traditional eating utensils and can be made of wood, gold, silver, ivory, bamboo, or even plastic. If you’re about to eat sushi, noodles or about to hop on a plane to anywhere in the Asian continent, you should be aware of how to hold them correctly, as well as the etiquette surrounding one.
The proper way to hold chopsticks
Let us tackle the first things first. Lots of people have their own way of holding them, but there is only one-way that is deemed correct.
When holding chopsticks, the topmost is the one that does most of the work involved in grabbing food. The bottom should rest on your fourth finger and in the nook between your first finger and thumb. Use your thumb and first two fingers to guide or control the upper chopstick.
Pay attention to the following points:
Number 1, the skinny end of the chopstick is the point used to grasp food, while the thicker end points away from the food.
Number 2, your hand should hold the upper third of the chopsticks – it’s considered odd to hold them by the middle.
Number 3 which is the most challenging part for some people, the tips of the chopsticks should be lightly touching as long as you’re not holding food in between them. If they are making an ‘X’ shape, you’re doing it wrong – try adjusting the position of your hand.
The don’t’s when using chopsticks
Do not drum your chopsticks against your bowl, the table, or any other surface not because they are not obviously drumsticks but because in the olden days, beggars used to drum them against bowls in order to get the attention of passersby and it is frowned upon.
Do not stick your chopsticks into your food just because you want them to stand upright. This is considered extremely rude because it is said to resemble the incense burned during Buddhist funerals. If you need to put your sticks down, rest them on what is called a chopstick holder if it is available. If not, place the sticks side-by-side across the top of your bowl in a neat manner.
Do not use your personal chopsticks to grab food from shared dishes if there are communal chopsticks available. If you don’t see any chopsticks for general use, confirm with your table mates that they don’t mind you using personal sticks.
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