Daily Life

10 Taboos to Avoid When Using Chopsticks in China

Chopsticks (kuài zi), originating from China, is a traditional tableware in North Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, especially in China. It is mainly made of bamboo, wood, ivory, metal, plastics and ceramics.

As the commonest tableware using in China, we need to pay attention to taboos when using it. In this post we will explain Chinese chopsticks etiquette thoroughly.

1. Using chopsticks in different size. The size here mainly refer to length and this etiquette is related to Chinese idioms “sān chánɡ liǎnɡ duǎn”, which implies death. If you are a household and use chopsticks in different size to entertain your friends, they might be irritated.

2. Using chopsticks to strike the bowl or dishes. In ancient China and even nowadays, only the beggar will strike the bowl to beg for money. So if this behavior is deemed to be impolite and ominous to yourself and others.

3. Raise forefinger when using chopsticks. In China, if you are criticize someone, you usually will point to him with your forefinger. So raising forefinger when using chopsticks, it is an impolite behavior to others around you.

4. Suck the chopsticks and even make some noise. This is also an impolite behavior.

5. Stick chopsticks vertically in the rice. In China, we usually do this when we are worshiping the dead. If you do this at dinner time, it means you are cursing others around you.

6. Get too many foods with chopsticks. Because you are very likely to spill the food on the table when you getting too many food with chopsticks and it is not polite to others.

7. Using chopsticks upside down. This refers to dignity in China. There is an old idioms “jī bù zé shí”in Chinese, which means he will accept any kind of food no matter how awful it is when a person is too hungry. Ifyou hold the chopsticks upside down, you are very likely to be looked down by others.

8. Cross the chopsticks on the table. In reality, you usually use a cross to deny a person’s behavior or achievement. Hence, it is an discourteous behavior to crossing chopsticks.

9. Stir the dishes with your chopsticks. This offensive deed will be regarded that you are an ill-bred person.

10. Stick in the food with only one chopstick. It is regarded as a contumelious deed to others around you if you stick in the food with one chopstick or a pair of stickup chopsticks. So bear it in mind and never do that unless you are a child.

OK. All taboos on the use of chopsticks in China have been introduces here. You need to pay attention to especially when you are going to an important dinner. If you think taboos when using chopsticks in China in this post are useful, please share them and let more of your friends know them.

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