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Culture Notes:Chopsticks

China has a lot of unique customs and cultures, among which, chopstick culture is a rarity due to its enduring force and unique charm. Chopsticks, a unique tableware, can be seen as a symbol of eastern Asian civilization. The enduring popularity may actually be linked to Chinese cooking methods: before cooking, the food is cut into tiny pieces, making them easy to manipulate with chopsticks.

Chinese chopsticks are called Kuai Zi, and they are usually made of bamboo. They can also be made of plastic and silver. In ancient China, chopsticks were made of silver for the royal family, and these were to protect the emperor from being poisoned.

Chopsticks have a history of more than 3,000 years. Da Yu, a famous legendary person in China, used branches to eat hot food. Some people think this is the origin of chopsticks.

The usage of chopsticks may be a little difficult the first time. One chopstick is held between the first two fingers and the other chopstick is held between the second and third finger. The thumb is used as a pivoting point, helping you to push the sticks together and pick up food.

When you are using chopsticks, there is something you need to pay attention to. Chopsticks are not only tools in Chinese dinning culture, but also carry meaning. It is forbidden to put chopsticks straight up into a rice bowl because this behavior shows disrespect to a persons ancestors.

When speaking of chopsticks, people will usually think of China. So, chopsticks have become an important reflection of Chinese culture.

Chopsticks 筷子 kuàizi

Chinese culture 中国文化 zhōngguó wénhuà

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Introduction to Chinese: Grammar

Shanghai International Studies University (SISU)

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