Chopsticks Taboos

11:52:00 PM


Planning a trip to East Asia? There are a lot of chopsticks taboos out there and they vary depending on each country. In this post, I have compiled some of the common taboos to give you an idea on things you should not do to avoid offending the locals.  So before you leave for your trip, try to learn a few chopsticks etiquette with the following chopsticks taboos.

1. Licking your chopsticks
Licking, sucking or biting your chopsticks is considered impolite or rude. It is more offensive if you lick your chospticks then dipping it back in a common bowl where everybody else gets their food.

2. Passing food from your chopsticks to another pair of chopsticks.
The Japanese only practice this when it comes to picking up the bones of their deceased. When you need to pass food using your chopsticks, place it in their bowl where they can pick it up.


3. Sticking your chopsticks upright in your rice.

We Asians have a lot of superstitions and if you don't want East Asians to give you an evil glare, avoid doing this around them. Traditionally in Asian culture, we tend to leave food for the spirits of our recently dead relatives. In East Asia, they stick incense upright in a bowl of sand at  funerals. Sticking your chopsticks upright in your rice resembles this tradition which implies you either want someone dead at the table or that someone might die because of what you did. Very superstitious, I know.

4. Leaving your chopsticks on your bowl when you're done.
Once you're finished with your meal, do not leave your chopsticks laying on the bowl or plate. It is impolite to do so. Let it rest on your chopstick rest or put it on the edge of a tray.

5. Pointing at someone using your chopsticks.
This is similar to using your index finger and pointing at someone. This behavior is considered impolite and is usually done by people who are in a quarrel.

6. Hitting your bowl with your chopsticks.
This is usually done by a beggar. Doing this makes you seem like you're begging for food.

7. Holding the chopsticks with two hands.
It is impolite to jab your food with your chopsticks or to hold them similar to a fork and knife. Hold them properly.

Have you done any of these taboos? Noticed the locals looking at you? Well, at least now you're more informed and just try to avoid doing them again. ^.^

Hope you learned a lot from this post. If you're interested, check out my previous post regarding a simple recipe I shared.

Have a great day, everyone!

*photo credits: c/o yahoo.
*references: link1 and link 2.

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