The Thing You Know and Don't Know About Chopsticks

The Thing You Know and Don't Know About Chopsticks

Chopsticks are eating utensils invented by ancient Chinese people. They are so convenient for eating, if only you have learned to use it. They're just a pair of "sticks" made of wood, bamboo or other materials sucha as plastic, metal, bone, jade, porcelain, and ivory, but they have changed the eating habit of several nations, of which is China with the largest population.

Click  to start using chopstics, it may be fun!

The following text source is from Wikipedia:

The earliest evidence uncovered so far consists of six chopsticks, made of bronze, 26 centimetres (10 in) long, and 1.1 to 1.3 centimetres (0.43 to 0.51 in) wide, excavated from the Ruins of Yin near Anyang (Henan Province, China). These are dated roughly to 1200 BCE. They were supposed to have been used for cooking.

Chopsticks began to be used as eating utensils during the Han dynasty of China, as rice consumption increased.

Now, the world can be said to be split among three dining customs, or food cultural spheres. There are those eating with fingers, and those with forks and knives. Then there is the "chopsticks cultural sphere", consisting of China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Chopsticks are usually tapered in the end used for picking up food. Chinese chopsticks are more commonly blunt, while Japanese ones tend to be sharp and pointed in style. Korean chopsticks typically have sharp tapers.


How to use chopsticks?

how to use Chopsticks

how to use chopsticks


Chopstick customs, manners and etiquette


  • When eating rice from a bowl, it is normal to hold the rice bowl up to one's mouth and use chopsticks to push or shovel the rice directly into the mouth.
  • It is traditionally acceptable to transfer food using one's own chopsticks to closely-related people. Family members transfer a choice piece of food from a dish to an elderly before dinner starts, as a sign of respect. In modern times, the use of serving or communal chopsticks for this transfer has gained momentum, for better sanitary practices. 
  • Chopsticks, when not in use, are placed either to the right or below one's plate in a Chinese table setting. 
  • It is poor etiquette to tap chopsticks on the edge of one's bowl; beggars make this sort of noise to attract attention. 
  • One should not "dig" or "search" through food for something in particular. This is sometimes known as "digging one's grave" or "grave-digging" and is extremely poor form.


Various chopstick rests
  • The pointed ends of the chopsticks should be placed on a chopstick rest when the chopsticks are not being used. However, when a chopstick rest is not available as is often the case in restaurants using waribashi (disposable chopsticks), chopstick wrappers may be folded into a rest.
  • Reversing chopsticks to use the opposite clean end can be used to move food from a communal plate, and is acceptable if there are no communal chopsticks. In general, reversing chopsticks (逆さ箸 sakasabashi) is frowned upon, however, because of the association to the celebratory chopsticks (祝い箸 iwai-bashi), where both ends of chopsticks are tapered, but only one end is for man to use, while the other is for use by god.
  • Chopsticks should not be crossed on a table, as this symbolizes death.
  • Chopsticks should be placed in the right-left direction, and the tips should be on the left.
  • In formal use, disposable chopsticks (waribashi) should be replaced into the wrapper at the end of a meal.


Simple Korean table (chopsticks and a spoon placed palewise, on the right side of rice and soup)
  • In Korea, chopsticks are paired with a spoon, forming a sujeo set. Sujeo are placed on the right side and parallel to bap (rice) and guk (soup). Chopsticks are laid on the right side of the paired spoon. One must never put the chopsticks to the left of the spoon. Chopsticks are only laid to the left during the food preparation for the funeral or the memorial service for the deceased family members, known as jesa. 
  • Spoon is used for bap (rice) and soupy dishes, while most other banchan (side dishes) are eaten with chopsticks.
  • It is considered uncultured and rude to pick up a plate or a bowl to bring it closer to one's mouth, and eat its content with chopsticks. If the food lifted "drips", a spoon is used under the lifted food to catch the dripping juices. Otherwise however, holding both a spoon and chopsticks in one hand simultaneously or in both hands is usually frowned upon.


Vietnam is one of the countries in the original "chopsticks cultural sphere". Its customs are heavily influenced by its Chinese counterparts, including using chopsticks exclusively as eating utensils. Consequently Vietnamese chopstick etiquette are very similar to Chinese ones. For instance, it is deemed proper to hold the bowl close to the mouth, just like is the case in China. Holding chopsticks vertically up like incense sticks is taboo. Tapping bowls with chopsticks is frowned upon. 


In Cambodia, chopsticks are not the primary eating utensil. A fork and a spoon are the primary eating utensils. Forks are only used to help guide food onto the spoon. Forks are not used to shovel food into the mouth. For noodle dishes such as Kuy teav, Num Banh Chok, chopsticks are used instead, to pick up food for eating. In this case, the spoon is used for picking up the broth. 


  • Historically, Thai people used bare hands to eat and occasionally used a spoon and fork for curries or soup, an impact from the west. But many Thai noodle dishes, served in a bowl are eaten with chopsticks.
  • Unlike in China and in Vietnam, chopsticks are not used with a bowl of rice.
  • It is considered impolite to make a sound with chopsticks.
  • It is poor etiquette to rest or hold chopsticks pointing towards others, as pointing is considered disrespectful.

Buy a typical set of tableware for eating--chopsticks and spoon here at Li Ziqi Shop. 

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