Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chopstick Etiquette

Blatantly plagarized from elsewhere.

1. Don't put your chopsticks recklessly on the table. Always rest your chopsticks properly and evenly. If you put them heedlessly on the table, you will bring bad luck to all the diners eating with you. Old-timers would link your unwitting error with misfortune, or even death, since "3 lengths and 2 shortnesses" (三長兩短) is a Chinese colloquialism referring to coffin (made by 3 long and 2 short pieces of wooden board before the top is covered up).
2. Don't "curse on the main street" (罵大街). Old-timers in Beijing would say you're cursing on the main street if they saw you using chopsticks with your index finger pointing out. It is even worse to point at someone with your chopsticks -- the Chinese take of giving the finger to someone.
3. Don't lick the chopstick. While it is perfectly appropriate to put food into your mouth with chopsticks; it is impolite to lick your chopsticks before you use it.
4. Don't beat the bowl with your chopsticks. Only beggars do this to draw the attention of others. It has long been regarded as a sign of poor upbringing.

5. Don't clasp the dish while your bowl is still loaded with food. This will be a sign of greed and audacity. Select a new item only when you've finished what's in your bowl (relax, the rice doesn't count).
6. Don't rummage around the plate. One of the most annoying mistakes is to rummage around the plate in an attempt to look for what you want. No one wants your leftovers. So be decisive. Aim, pick and leave.
7. Don't water the tablecloths. If you really have a hard time in picking up the dish with chopsticks, bail yourself out with a spoon. It is perfectly alright better than making a fool of yourself by dripping all the contents of the dish on the table, or worse, on other dishes.
8. Don't clucth food with the wrong ends of the chopsticks. Always use the sharper ends.
9. Don't poke at the dish with one chopstick like a lollipop. It's only cute if you are a toddler. Again, try to catch the food with the aid of a spoon.

10. Don't stand the chopsticks in the rice or dish. It looks like the incense sticks burning in front of a tomb. Diners around you would say you're putting a spell on them.

1 comment:

  1. Use your chopsticks to cut up pieces of food too large to fit into the mouth in one bite. When eating food served in bowl with a lid, replace the lid on the bowl when you have finished. When you have finished your meal, replace your chopsticks on the chopstick rest as they were when you started.


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