Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How to use chopsticks

A lot of people think using chopsticks is difficult but if you're visiting Hong Kong and want to try the authentic local food you will need to brush up on both your skills and etiquette. Here are a few dos and don'ts to help make life a little easier...
DO have a go - most of my Chinese colleagues have been very impressed when I've tried to eat with chopsticks, however lame the attempt.
DON'T stab at food, it's considered rude.
DO hold your chopsticks in your right hand, even if you're left-handed. It stops you clashing with your neighbour when seated at a circular table.
DON'T prop your chopsticks vertically in your food - it is reminiscent of the way incense sticks are burnt and has morbid connotations.
DO use shorter chopsticks to start off with - it makes handling the food easier.
DON'T point at others with your chopsticks - it's the Chinese equivalent of flipping the bird and is condsidered to be unlucky.
DO try watching an online video like this one from about.com if you are completely clueless. Or a hilariously funny Japanese comedy guide if you need cheering up.
DON'T rest your chopsticks unevenly - line them up carefully in the chopstick rest (again, to do otherwise is considered unlucky).
DO hold your bowl up high and shovel the rice into your both, it's considered perfectly good manners.
and finally...
DO remember that practice makes perfect!
Photo courtesy of John Evans


Trig said...

Lol. I fell about laughing. I see that this is one of a series of videos about Japanese tradition by a comedy group called the Rahmens. Do you know if the Japanese find it funny, or are they offended?