Chopsticks are kitchen/eating utensils that are shaped pairs of equal-length sticks that have been used in virtually all of East Asia for over two millennia. First invented and used by the Han Chinese over 8,000 years ago, chopsticks later spread to other countries that were tributary states of the Empire of China that established an East Asian cultural sphere based on ancient Han Chinese culture, science and technological innovations. In Southeast Asia, only Vietnam and ethnic Chinese communities consume all food with chopsticks. In Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Indian and Malay communities in Singapore and Malaysia, as well as in Nepal, chopsticks are generally used only to consume noodles. In Thailand, chopsticks is now a part of their eating utensils along with the spoon and fork, where in the past chopsticks were never used.    Using chopsticks is uncommon in the Philippines.
Chopsticks are smoothed and frequently tapered and are commonly made of bamboo, plastic, wood, or stainless steel. They are less commonly made from titanium, gold, silver, porcelain, jade, or ivory. Chopsticks are held in the dominant hand, between the thumb and fingers, and used to pick up pieces of food.
The original Chinese character for "chopsticks"
|Alternative Chinese name|
The English word "chopstick" may have derived from Chinese Pidgin English, in which "chop chop" meant "quickly". According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest published use of the word is in the 1699 book Voyages and Descriptions by William Dampier: "they are called by the English seamen Chopsticks". Another possibility, is that the term is derived from chow (chow chow) which is also a pidgin word stemming from Southeast Asia meaning food, thus chopsticks would simply mean 'food sticks'.
The Standard Chinese term for chopsticks is kuàizi (Chinese: 筷子). The first character (筷) is a semantic-phonetic compound with a phonetic part meaning "quick" (快), and a semantic part meaning "bamboo" (竹).
In ancient written Chinese, the character for chopsticks was zhu (箸; Middle Chinese reconstruction: d̪jwo-). Although it may have been widely used in ancient spoken Chinese, its use was eventually replaced by the pronunciation for the character kuài (快), meaning "quick". The original character, though still used in writing, is rarely used in modern spoken Chinese. It, however, is preserved in Chinese dialects such as Hokkien and Teochew as the Min Chinese languages are directly descended from Old Chinese rather than Middle Chinese.
In Cambodian, chopsticks are called changkuah (ចង្កឹះ).
In Japanese, chopsticks are called hashi (箸). They are also known as otemoto (おてもと), a phrase commonly printed on the wrappers of disposable chopsticks. Te means hand and moto means the area under or around something. The preceding o is used for politeness.
In Korean, 저 (箸, jeo) is used in the compound jeotgarak (Hangul: 젓가락), which is composed of jeo "chopsticks" and garak "stick". Jeo cannot be used alone, but can be found in other compounds such as sujeo (Hangul: 수저), meaning "spoon and chopsticks".
In Vietnamese, chopsticks are called "đũa", which is written as 𥮊 with 竹 trúc (bamboo) as the semantic, and 杜 đỗ as the phonetic part. It is an archaic borrowing of the older Chinese term for chopsticks, 箸.
The Han dynasty historian Sima Qian writes that chopsticks were known before the Shang dynasty (1766–1122 BCE) but there is no textual or archeological evidence to support this statement.  The earliest evidence is six chopsticks, made of bronze, 26 cm (10 inches) long and 1.1 to 1.3 cm (0.43 to 0.51 inches) wide, excavated from the Ruins of Yin near Anyang (Henan) and dated roughly to 1200 BCE; those were supposed to be used for cooking. The earliest known textual reference to the use of chopsticks comes from the Han Feizi, a philosophical text written by Han Fei (c. 280–233 BCE) in the 3rd century BCE.
The first chopsticks were used for cooking, stirring the fire, serving or seizing bits of food, and not as eating utensils. Chopsticks began to be used as eating utensils during the Han dynasty. Chopsticks were considered more lacquerware-friendly than other sharp eating utensils. It was not until the Ming dynasty that chopsticks came into normal use for both serving and eating. They then acquired the name kuaizi and the present shape.
To use chopsticks, the lower chopstick is stationary, and rests at the base of the thumb, and between the ring finger and middle finger. The second chopstick is held like a pencil, using the tips of the thumb, index finger, and middle finger, and it is moved while eating, to pull food into the grasp of the chopsticks. Chopsticks, when not in use, are placed either to the right or below one's plate in a Chinese table setting. Some Chinese feel that using serving chopsticks is more sanitary.
Saibashi (菜箸; さいばし) are Japanese kitchen chopsticks used in Japanese cuisine. They are used in the preparation of Japanese food, and are not designed for eating. These chopsticks allow handling of hot food with one hand, and are used like regular chopsticks. These chopsticks have a length of 30 cm (12 in) or more, and may be looped together with a string at the top. They are made from bamboo, but for deep frying, metal chopsticks with bamboo handles are preferred, as the tips of regular bamboo chopsticks discolor and get greasy after repeated use in hot oil. The bamboo handles protect against heat.
Similarly, Vietnamese cooks use the oversized đũa cả or "grand chopsticks" in cooking, serving rice from the pot.
Chopsticks come in a wide variety of styles, with differences in geometry and material. Depending on the country and the region some chopstick styles are more common than others.
Longer than most other styles at about 27 centimetres (11 in), thicker, with squared or rounded sides and ending in either wide, blunt, flat tips or tapered pointed tips. Blunt tips are more common with plastic or melamine varieties whereas pointed tips are more common in wood and bamboo varieties. Chinese sticks may be composed of almost any material but the most common in modern-day restaurants is melamine plastic for its durability and ease of sanitation. The most common type of material in regular households is bamboo.
It is common for Japanese sticks to be of shorter length for women, and children's chopsticks in smaller sizes are common. Many Japanese chopsticks have circumferential grooves at the eating end, which helps prevent food from slipping. Japanese chopsticks are typically sharp and pointed. They are traditionally made of wood or bamboo, and are lacquered. Lacquered chopsticks were first used in the Yayoi Era, around 2000 years ago. Lacquered chopsticks are known in Japanese as nuribashi, which has numbers of varieties, depending on where they are made and what types of lacquers are used in glossing them. Japan is the only place where they are decorated with natural lacquer making them not just functional but highly attractive. The Japanese traditional lacquered chopsticks are produced from the city of Obama in Fukui Prefecture, and come in many colors coated in natural lacquer and decorated with mother-of-pearl from abalone and with eggshell to impart a waterproof shield to the chopsticks extending their life.
Edo Kibashi chopsticks have been created by the hands of Tokyo craftspeople since the beginning of the Taishō Period (1912-1926) roughly 100 years ago. These chopsticks are combined by high-grade wood (ebony, red sandalwood, ironwood, Japanese box-trees, maple), which craftspeople plane by hand. Edo Kibashi chopsticks, which are pentagonal hexagonal or octagonal, make them easy to hold. The tips of them are rounded to prevent to damage the dish or the bowl.
In Japan, chopsticks for cooking are known as ryoribashi, and saibashi when used to transfer cooked food to the dishes it will be served in.
In North and South Korea, chopsticks of medium-length with a small, flat rectangular shape are paired with a spoon made of the same, usually metal, material. The set is called sujeo. A spoon and chopstick rest, which is the piece to rest sujeo without touching the table, is used in traditional eating. Many Korean metal chopsticks are ornately decorated at the grip.
In the past, materials for sujeo varied with social class: Sujeo used in the court were made with gold, silver, cloisonné and so on, while commoners usually used brass or wooden sujeo. Nowadays, sujeo is usually made with stainless steel, although bangjja is also popular in more traditional setting.
Native cuisine uses a fork and spoon, adopted from the West. Ethnic Chinese immigrants introduced the use of chopsticks for foods that require them. Restaurants serving other Asian cuisines that utilize chopsticks use the style of chopstick, if any, appropriate for that cuisine.
Long sticks that taper to a blunt point; traditionally lacquered wood or bamboo. A đũa cả (𥮊奇) is a large pair of flat chopsticks that is used to serve rice from a pot.
Chopsticks are used in many parts of the world. While principles of etiquette are similar, finer points can differ from region to region.
In Cambodia, a fork and spoon are the typical utensils used in Cambodian dining and etiquette. Spoons are used to scoop up food or water and the fork is there to help guide the food onto the spoon. Chopsticks are normally used in noodle dishes such as the Kuy Tiev and soup dishes. When eating soup the chopsticks will typically be paired with the spoon, where the chopsticks will pick up the food and the spoon will be used to drink the broth. Forks are never to touch the mouth, as it is thought as rude, thus they are not used to eat such dishes.
In Korea, chopsticks are paired with a spoon (the set is called sujeo).
Historically, Thai people used bare hands to eat and occasionally used a spoon and fork for curries or soup, an impact from the west. Many Thai noodle dishes, such as pad thai, are eaten with chopsticks.
The most widespread use of disposable chopsticks is in Japan, where around a total of 24 billion pairs are used each year, which is equivalent to almost 200 pairs per person yearly. In China, an estimated 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks are produced yearly. This adds up to 1.66 million cubic metres (59×106 cu ft) of timber or 25 million fully grown trees every year.
In April 2006, China imposed a 5% tax on disposable chopsticks to reduce waste of natural resources by overconsumption. This measure had the most effect in Japan as many of its disposable chopsticks are imported from China, which account for over 90% of the Japanese market.
American manufacturers have begun exporting American-made chopsticks to China, using sweet gum and poplar wood as these materials do not need to be artificially lightened with chemicals or bleach, and have been seen as appealing to Chinese and other East Asian consumers.
The American-born Taiwanese singer Wang Leehom has publicly advocated the use of reusable chopsticks made from sustainable materials. In Japan, reusable chopsticks are known as maihashi or maibashi (マイ箸, meaning "my chopsticks").
A 2003 study found that regular use of chopsticks by the elderly may slightly increase the risk of osteoarthritis in the hand, a condition in which cartilage is worn out, leading to pain and swelling in the hand joints. There have also been concerns regarding the use of certain disposable chopsticks made from dark wood bleached white that may pose a health risk, causing coughing or leading to asthma.
A 2006 Hong Kong Department of Health survey found that the proportion of people using distinctly separate serving chopsticks, spoons, or other utensils for serving food from a common dish has increased from 46% to 65% since the SARS outbreak in 2003.
The proper way to use a pair is to place the first chopstick between the base of the thumb and the top of the ring finger (this chopstick remains stationary) and the second one between the top of the thumb and the middle and index fingers.
Chinese cuisine is an important part of Chinese culture, which includes cuisine originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world. Because of the Chinese diaspora and historical power of the country, Chinese cuisine has influenced many other cuisines in Asia, with modifications made to cater to local palates. Chinese food staples such as rice, soy sauce, noodles, tea, and tofu, and utensils such as chopsticks and the wok, can now be found worldwide.
The preference for seasoning and cooking techniques of Chinese provinces depend on differences in historical background and ethnic groups. Geographic features including mountains, rivers, forests and deserts also have a strong effect on the local available ingredients, considering that the climate of China varies from tropical in the south to subarctic in the northeast. Imperial, royal and noble preference also plays a role in the change of Chinese cuisines. Because of imperial expansion and trading, ingredients and cooking techniques from other cultures are integrated into Chinese cuisines over time.
The most praised "Four Major Cuisines" are Chuan, Lu, Yue and Huaiyang, representing West, North, South and East China cuisine correspondingly. The modern "Eight Cuisines" of China are Anhui (徽菜 Huīcài), Cantonese (粤菜; Yuècài), Fujian (闽菜; Mǐncài), Hunan (湘菜; Xiāngcài), Jiangsu (苏菜; Sūcài), Shandong (鲁菜; Lǔcài), Sichuan (川菜; Chuāncài), and Zhejiang (浙菜; Zhècài) cuisines.Color, smell and taste are the three traditional aspects used to describe Chinese food, as well as the meaning, appearance and nutrition of the food. Cooking should be appraised with respect to the ingredients used, knifework, cooking time and seasoning.Chopsticks (film)
Chopsticks is an Indian Hindi-language comedy drama film directed by Sachin Yardi and produced by Ashvini Yardi. It stars Abhay Deol and Mithila Palkar in the lead roles.
The film is a story of a woman who is referred to an enigmatic con man who agrees to help recover her stolen car from a thug for free, and how it brings about change in their lives. It was released on 31 May 2019 worldwide on Netflix.Chopsticks (hand game)
Chopsticks is a hand game for two players, in which players extend a number of fingers from each hand and transfer those scores by taking turns to tap one hand against another. Chopsticks is an example of a combinatorial game, and is solved in the sense that with perfect play an optimal strategy from any point is known.Chopsticks (music)
"Chopsticks" (original name "The Celebrated Chop Waltz") is a simple, widely known waltz for the piano. Written in 1877, it is the only published piece by the British composer Euphemia Allen (under the pseudonym Arthur de Lulli). Allen—whose brother was a music publisher—was sixteen when she composed the piece, with arrangements for solo and duet. The title "Chop Waltz" comes from Allen's specification that the melody be played in two-part harmony with both hands held in a vertical orientation, little fingers down and palms facing each other, striking the keys with a chopping motion. The similar "The Coteletten Polka" also was first heard in 1877, with the piano collection Paraphrases elaborating on the theme by 1879. "Chopsticks" continues to be popular in various forms of media.Customs and etiquette in Chinese dining
Customs and etiquette in Chinese dining are the traditional behaviors observed while eating in Greater China. Traditional Han customs have spread throughout East Asia to varying degrees, with some regions sharing a few aspects of formal dining, which has ranged from guest seating to paying the bill.Customs and etiquette in Japanese dining
Japanese dining etiquette is a set of rules governing specific expectations which need to be followed when eating. It outlines general standards of how to act and respond in various dining situations.David Grubbs
David Grubbs (born September 21, 1967), composer, guitarist, pianist, and vocalist, was a founding member of Squirrel Bait, Bastro, and Gastr del Sol. He has also played in Codeine, The Red Krayola, Bitch Magnet and The Wingdale Community Singers.Etiquette in Japan
The code of etiquette in Japan governs the expectations of social behavior in the country and is considered very important. Like many social cultures, etiquette varies greatly depending on one's status relative to the person in question. Many books instruct readers on its minutiae. Some conventions may be very regional practices, and thus may not exist in all regions of Japan. Some customs have changed over the course of Japanese history. The following are generally accepted modern customs in Japan.Finger food
Finger food is food meant to be eaten directly using the hands, in contrast to food eaten with a knife and fork, spoon, chopsticks, or other utensils. In most cultures, food is almost always eaten with the hands; for example, Ethiopian cuisine is eaten by rolling various dishes up in injera bread. Foods considered street foods are frequently, though not exclusively, finger foods.Gilded Chopsticks
Gilded Chopsticks (Chinese: 食為奴; Jyutping: sik6 wai6 nou4; Cantonese Yale: sihk waih nòuh; literally "Eat to be Enslaved") is a 2014 Hong Kong historical fiction television serial produced by TVB. Set during the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor in the Manchu-led Qing dynasty, the serial follows the adventures of a lazy but gifted "golden-tongued" imperial chef Ko Tin-po (Wong Cho-lam), whose clumsy activities lead him to befriend the Yongzheng Emperor (Ben Wong) during an imperial struggle for the Qing throne. The story is inspired by Jin Yong's wuxia novel The Deer and the Cauldron.Helmed by executive producer Wong Wai-sing, 25 episodes of the serial were produced. Production began in Hong Kong in March 2013. The serial was also shot on locations at Hengdian World Studios.Hibachi
The hibachi (Japanese: 火鉢, "fire bowl") is a traditional Japanese heating device. It consists of a round, cylindrical, or a box-shaped, open-topped container, made from or lined with a heatproof material and designed to hold burning charcoal.
In North America, the term "hibachi" refers to a small cooking stove heated by charcoal (called shichirin in Japanese) or to an iron hot plate (called teppan in Japanese) used in teppanyaki restaurants.Katong Laksa
Katong Laksa is a variant of laksa lemak inspired by the Straits Chinese who live in the precinct of Katong in Singapore. It has a spicy soup stock the colour of a flaming sunset, flavoured with coconut milk and dried shrimp, and topped with ingredients like cockles, prawns and fishcake. The noodles are normally cut up into smaller pieces so that the entire dish can be eaten with a spoon alone, without chopsticks or a fork.Laziji
Laziji (simplified Chinese: 辣子鸡; traditional Chinese: 辣子雞; pinyin: làzǐ jī; literally: 'spicy chicken'), is a dish of Sichuan cuisine. It is a stir-fried dish, which consists of marinated then deep-fried pieces of chicken, dried Sichuan chilli peppers, spicy bean paste, Sichuan peppers, garlic, and ginger.Toasted sesame seeds and sliced spring onions are often used to garnish the dish. Diners use chopsticks to pick out the pieces of chicken, leaving the chilies in the bowl.Laziji originated near Geleshan in Chongqing, where restaurateurs used small free-range chickens from nearby farms. This poultry became a signature export for Geleshan.List of bad luck signs
Bad luck is harmful, negative, or undesirable luck or fortune. This is a list of signs believed to bring bad luck according to superstitions:
A black cat crossing one's path
Walking under a ladder
The number 4 (tetraphobia) in Chinese culture
The numbers 4 and 9 in Japanese culture
Also in Japanese culture, maternity wards numbered 43, as it can literally mean "still birth"
The number 13, known as triskaidekaphobia
The number 17 in Italian culture
The number 39, known as the curse of 39, in Afghan culture
The number 666, known as hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
Friday the 13th (In Spain, Greece and Georgia: Tuesday the 13th)
Failing to respond to a chain letter
Tipping a salt shaker over
Viewing one's doppelgänger may be considered a harbinger of bad luck
Hanging a horseshoe with the ends pointing down, as it is believed that the luck will 'fall out'
Breaking a mirror is said to bring seven years of bad luck
Shoes on a table
Opening an umbrella while indoors
On the Isle of Man, the mention of the word "longtail" (referring to a rat)
Three on a match (superstition)
Giving a clock as a gift in Chinese culture, as in Chinese, to give a clock has the same pronunciation as attending their funeral
Saying the word "Macbeth" while inside a theatre
Ravens, crows and magpies
Opening notebooks before you use them
Greek Orthodox priest in the street. It is considered a bad omen to see a priest walking in the street, and superstitious people whisper "ΣΚΟΡΔΑ" (skorda - "garlic") under their breath.
pointing at a rainbow
throwing rocks into the wind
a coyote crossing one's path heading north
an owl flying over a house.
Placing chopsticks straight up in a bowl of rice in Chinese and Japanese culture is reminiscent of food offerings left for the dead.
Pointing towards feces (England)List of eating utensils
A variety of eating utensils have been used by people to aid eating when dining. Most societies traditionally use bowls or dishes to contain food to be eaten, but while some use their hands to deliver this food to their mouths, others have developed specific tools for the purpose. In Western cultures, cutlery items such as knives and forks are the traditional norm, while in much of the East chopsticks are more common. Spoons are ubiquitous.Sujeo
Sujeo (수저) is the Korean word for the set of eating utensils commonly used to eat Korean cuisine. The word is a portmanteau of the words sutgarak (숟가락, "spoon") and jeotgarak (젓가락, "chopsticks"). The sujeo set includes a pair of oval-shaped or rounded-rectangular metal (often stainless steel) chopsticks, and a long handled shallow spoon of the same material. One may use both at the same time, but this is a recent way to speed eating. It is not considered good etiquette to hold the spoon and the chopstick together in one hand especially while eating with elders. More often food is eaten with chopsticks alone. Sometimes the spoon apart from chopsticks is referred to as sujeo.
Chopsticks may be put down on a table, but never put into food standing up, particularly rice, as this is considered to bring bad luck since it resembles food offerings to at a grave to deceased ancestors. The spoon may be laid down on the rice bowl, or soup bowl, if it has not been used. As food is eaten quickly, and portions are small, little time is spent in putting eating utensils down.
Cases for sujeo in paper or Korean fabrics were often embroidered with symbols of longevity and given as gifts, particularly at weddings. They are now sold as souvenirs.Table manners
Table manners are the rules used while eating, which may also include the use of utensils. Different cultures observe different rules for table manners. Each family or group sets its own standards for how strictly these rules are to be enforced.Take-out
A take-out or takeout (in North America—U.S. and Canada—and the Philippines); carry-out and to-go (in some dialects in the U.S., Canada and Scotland); take-away, or take away food (in the United Kingdom other than Scotland, Australia, South Africa, and Ireland. Used in some lesser extents in North America-U.S.), takeaways (in New Zealand), parcel (in Indian and Pakistani English), refer to prepared meals or other food items, purchased at a restaurant, that the purchaser intends to eat elsewhere. A concept found in many ancient cultures, take-out food is now common worldwide, with a number of different cuisines and dishes on offer.Xiaolin Showdown
Xiaolin Showdown is an American animated television series that aired on Kids' WB and was created by Christy Hui. Set in a world where martial arts battles and Eastern magic are commonplace, the series follows four young Xiaolin warriors in training who battle the Heylin forces of evil. They do this by protecting Shen Gong Wu (ancient artifacts that have great magical powers) from villains that would use them to conquer the world. Typical episodes revolve around a specific Shen Gong Wu being revealed which results in both sides racing to find it. Episodes usually reach a head when one good and one evil character must challenge each other to a magical duel called a Xiaolin Showdown for possession of the artifact.
Originally airing on the Kids' WB block of programming on WB Network from 2003 to 2006, the series ran for 3 seasons and 52 episodes. Reruns also aired on Cartoon Network from 2006 to 2007.
A follow-up series, Xiaolin Chronicles, previewed on August 26, 2013 on Disney XD. It began its long-term run on September 14 the same year, but ran for only one season and 26 episodes, later ending on Netflix in July 1, 2015 in the U.S.
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