The Must-Know Rules Of Good Chopsticks Etiquette
Image Credit: Source: Unsplash

Chopsticks are culturally and symbolically significant in Japan, China, and other Asian countries. Chopstick usage is strictly enforced in Japan and China. Using their favourite eating apparatus incorrectly will make them unhappy, which is the last thing you want to do, especially when you are a visitor to any of those countries. We've compiled a list of chopsticks etiquette rules for you to follow in order to avoid any mistakes.

Don’t play with chopsticks

You may not understand chopsticks, but you must appreciate different cultures. Playing the drums, tapping, spinning, or banging together with chopsticks is prohibited. Chopsticks are no different than forks or spoons in that regard. 

Don’t poke food with chopsticks

Never, ever use chopsticks to poke food. If you are concerned about whether the dish is adequately cooked, request that the person provide you with a knife. Cut it and put your doubts to rest. It demonstrates that you are inexperienced and lack fundamental table etiquette.

Don’t pick slippery and large pieces of food

Picking up a huge piece of food, such as fried chicken or fried fish, and eating it directly is fine, but not if it is slippery. After cutting the food into smaller pieces, eat it with chopsticks. To cut up the meal, request a knife and avoid touching it with your hands if possible. Also, don't rummage around the food looking for your favourite veggie or meat. It conveys the impression that you are offering them rejected food and indirectly disparaging them.

Keep chopsticks joined together

Keep the chopsticks on the edge of your bowl or plate in their assigned area when resting. If you aren't given a little block to rest them on, place the chopsticks together where the ends meet. Crossing them on the plate is a symbol of denial, implying that you dislike the host and are disputing their hospitality.

Holding chopsticks in the mouth

Never put the chopsticks in your mouth when passing the serving dish or bowl. The guideline applies to all cutlery, therefore observe it here as well. It's also not safe since something could fall on you and the chopsticks could knock a couple of teeth out.

Never stick chopsticks in food

If you don't want to eat any longer, remove the chopsticks from your food. People stick incense sticks in rice to pay tribute to their dead in this position, which resembles incense sticks. It's also unappealing. Chopsticks should not be used to remove food from your mouth. After the dinner, you will be handed toothpicks to use to clear the stuck food contents. Make sure your mouth is covered while doing so.

Use chopsticks only for food

If you wish to move the napkin or pass a tissue paper to someone, don't use the chopsticks. They should only be used to pass serving bowls and eat meals. If your chopsticks have rice attached to the end, don't lick them. It's fine to leave the food grains or sauce intact.