How to use chopsticks

If you come to see China, you must try Chinese food. And if you want to eat like a local, it’s important that you can use chopsticks. I remembered when I accompanied my groups, one of the most interesting things is to teach my friends how to use chopsticks. We have lots of  fun together. Now let’s find out how to use chopsticks step by step:

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1: Take up a pair of chopsticks horizontally with your right hand, and hold them with your thumb and index finger. The thick ends of the chopsticks will naturally rest upon the junction of your thumb and your index finger.

2: Put your middle finger between the two chopsticks about one third of the way down.

3: Rest the lower chopstick upon the fist joint of your ring finger and keep it stationary.

4: When picking up food, move the upper chopstick up and down with the forefinger and the middle finger.

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After some practice, you will be able to eat like a Chinese. But, as they saying goes, it’s easier said than done, practice makes perfect. It is considerately convenient to have noodles with chopsticks. You can wind noodle threads lightly but firmly, to avoid splattering soup or sauces in the bowl.

You may wonder if there is any standard by which you can measure your proficiency of using chopsticks. Well, try peanuts. If you can pick up one peanut, you are fine. If you can pick up two, then, congratulations!  Meanwhile I can ensure you with my more than 10 years’ experience as tour operator and guide, if you really can’t use chopsticks, we will provide you with knife and folk.

Chopsticks, called Kuaizi in Chinese, are a symbol of Chinese culture. Apart from bamboo, wood, jade, ivory, plastic, silver and gold can all be used to make chopsticks. They are roughly the same length throughout China (about twenty-five centimeters). Special long bamboo chopsticks are used in the kitchen.

Chopsticks are not only used as eating tools and they have many other functions. In the past, silver chopsticks or wooden chopsticks inlaid with silver thread were used to test if a dish had been poisoned or not. The silver would turn black if it touched poisonous food. Chopsticks made of ivory, bamboo, or silver, with decorations and carvings, look very beautiful. My friends usually bought many chopsticks as souvenirs for the family and their friends when going back. It’s also a good reminder of their trip to China!

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