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Don’t do this with your Chopsticks!

May 14, 2008

Don’t do this with your Chopsticks!

In Japan eating with chopsticks or hashi is commonplace and you will often have to ask for a fork if you are unable to use chopsticks. With the proliferation of Asian cuisines throughout the world many people are able to use chopstick quite effectively but how many do you think know their chopstick etiquette?

Yesterday I told you about Ginza Natsuno, your one stop shop for everything chopstick related, and today I want to let you know about 11 things not to do with your newly purchased chopsticks. These things are all considered rude or at least culturally incorrect and some are just plain unsanitary:

  1. Thrusting the chopsticks into the food to pick it up. Chopsticks should be treated like tongs not swords!
  2. Passing food from chopstick to chopstick. If you want your friend to try something they should pick it up from your plate with their own chopsticks.
  3. Licking your chopsticks. Sort of like licking your knife.
  4. Making a drumming sound with your chopsticks on the table or dishes. Chopsticks are not to be confused with drum sticks!
  5. Biting your chopsticks. You risk damaging the finish on your chopsticks, not to mention eating lacquer which probably isn’t very good for you.
  6. Impaling your chopsticks vertically in a bowl of rice. This is only done as an offering at Japanese funerals.
  7. Using your chopsticks to push food further into your mouth.
  8. Using your chopsticks to pick through the food presented to find the morsel that you want to eat.
  9. Using your chopsticks to move the dishes on the table. Don’t use your chopsticks to drag a plate closer to you!
  10. Using your chopsticks to point at a person.
  11. Chomping down on your chopsticks to free up your hands – you’ll just look silly! Your hand should never leave your chopsticks when they are in or near your mouth.

How well do you know your chopstick etiquette?

Photo Credit: Personal Collection Source: Babel Fish Translation of Ginza Natsuno website