Chopsticks are two small sticks used to eat with. They are commonly used in Asian countries including China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Chopsticks are usually made out of wood or plastic but can be made of gold, silver, ivory, or bamboo.  Some of the most important rules to remember when using chopsticks are:

  • Chopsticks are not used to make noise, to draw attention, or to point to things. Playing with chopsticks is considered rude.

  • Chopsticks are not used to move bowls or plates.

  • Chopsticks are not used to play with food.

  • Usually, chopsticks are not used to stab or spear food. Sometimes it may be okay to stab food that is difficult to pick up. These include items such as cherry tomatoes or fish balls.  But this is not okay in a formal situation.

  • When you are not using your chopsticks, or have finished eating, lay them down in front of you. Chopsticks should be rested on a plate or bowl, or a chopstick rest can be used to keep the ends of the chopsticks off the table.

  • Chopsticks should not be left standing in a bowl of rice or other food. Therefore do not stick chopsticks into your food, especially not into rice.

  • If you have already started to eat with your chopsticks, use the opposite end to take food from a shared plate.

Did you enjoy this lesson? If you did, why not try this one on Sushi or this one about Octopus?