Approximately one-third of the world's population use chopsticks. Chopsticks (筷子, "kuàizi") are thought to be more than 5,000 years old. They originated in China and began to spread to Korea, Japan and Vietnam by 500 A.D. In Asian cuisine and culture, chopstick usage contains a superstitious element. The editors of AsianSupper walk you through the don’ts of chopstick usage.
10 Chopstick Etiquette Rules
- Don't use chopsticks to skewer or spear food.
- Don't stick your chopsticks upright in your rice. They will resemble incense sticks and be an omen of death.
- Don’t wave your chopsticks around or point them at people; this is a sign of rudeness.
- Don’t tap your chopsticks against the side of your bowl – only beggars do this
- Don't pass food from chopstick to chopstick. It is similar to a funeral ritual in Japan.
- Don’t suck or lick your chopsticks; this is considered rude.
- Don't use your chopsticks to pull plates or dishes closer to you.
- Don't cross your chopsticks when they are resting. In China this is a symbol of death. When chopsticks are at rest, they should lay parallel to each other.
- Don't put food back once you have picked it up. It shows that you do not appreciate food.
- Don't use your chopsticks to dig for the food you want. You should always pick food closest to you, because whatever you touch is yours.