筷子 Chopsticks

An organization has drawn up measures to add chopsticks to the Shanghai Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2015.

The move aims to raise awareness regarding the culture behind the use of these utensils, according to Shanghai Chopsticks Culture Promotion Association.

One association authority says chopsticks are increasingly neglected in modern China although they are unique Chinese items.

At least 1.8 billion people currently use chopsticks worldwide.

According to some experts, chopsticks, though small, serve as a means to pass on Chinese civilization.

How much do you know about chopsticks(筷子kuài zi)?

Are you able to use chopsticks while eating Chinese food? To use chopsticks is perhaps the first thing some foreigners must learn in China. Chinese seem to be masters of chopsticks. They can eat slippery dumplings, round glutinous rice dumplings and long-pulled noodles with chopsticks. For some foreigners, such a task can be termed as mission impossible.

The correct way of using chopsticks is simple: use your thumb, index and middle fingers to control the upper stick and hold still the lower stick with your thumb and ring fingers. When you try to take the food, only move the upper chopstick. In this way you can put the food into your mouth. Chopsticks are daily utensils for Chinese. They become a perfect gift item. Elegantly made bamboo chopsticks are well-received gifts that represent steady improvement and good luck.

[yuán] round
[fāng] square
[jiā]    pick up
[péi yǎng] 培养 nurture
[shí jù]     食具 daily utensils

The traditional shape of chopsticks holds the same kaleidoscopic view as Yi or principle of changes. One end of the chopstick is square and the other is round, representing the round sky and square earth. While using chopsticks, some Chinese regard certain ways as taboo. For example, you should not point at others with chopsticks. Or you should not strike the bowl and plate with chopsticks. Do not hold the chopsticks in the mouth. When the food is taken with chopsticks, it should not be put back in the plate. There are certain ways to place chopsticks. Don’t insert chopsticks into the bowl of rice, as it is the ritual at the sacrifices offering ceremony for ancestors. Some people believe chopsticks are the best training utensils. To use them every day can make your fingers nimbler and nurture your brains as well. If you are not able to use chopsticks, you can follow our instructions listed above.


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