The other day, while eating at a local sushi restaurant, my four years old son showed a sudden interest in chopsticks and asked if he could use them. I spent a few minutes showing Christopher as we waited for our orders. He was even more impatient then his older brother and it quickly became very frustrating for both of us. But literally less than 10 minutes he was able to work these sticks and was using them the entire time we were there. Our son has always been a keen learner but my husband and I were completely flabbergasted. If you’ve ever tried using these tapered sticks you’ll know it requires a lot of coordination: the proper technique is to hold the base in a stationary position while the top is held like a pencil.
If your child hasn’t quite comprehended this concept, you can always resort to training chopsticks, which are connected at the top and has loops for their tiny fingers to secure.
No training chopsticks? No worries, watch this video to make your own.
Chopsticks are used in many countries in Asia including Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan, but it was believed to have originated in ancient China.
In Japan, the chopsticks are more pointed and in Vietnam or China they are blunt at the tip.
These traditional eating utensils are most commonly made of wood/bamboo, plastic or metal. I prefer the wooden ones as they seem to have better grip. One could also use it for cooking and they’re usually inexpensive. Unfortunately, these deteriorate faster than the other materials. Metal chopsticks are often used by wealthy family, they’re durable and easy to clean but are slightly slippery.
Here are some main things you need to know about Chopstick etiquettes.
- Do not stick your chopsticks vertically into a bowl of rice as it look like incense sticks used in a funeral and death in general.
- Do not dig or search through a bowl of food.
- Do not use chopsticks to point, as it is rude in any culture to point.
- Do not pass food from chopsticks to chopsticks.
- Do not shovel food directly from your rice bowl into your mouth.