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Home Communication & Others Don't do Them When Using Chopsticks
Don't do Them When Using Chopsticks
Communication & Others
DON'T Placing Chopsticks Unevenly
Chinese people regard it as inauspicious to place a pair of
chopsticks unevenly on the table before, during or after a meal. They call it "son thong liang duan", or " three long and two short", which indicates death. According to traditional Chinese customs, dead
bodies were placed in coffins in the past. In those days, coffins were
made from two short boards at the front and back, and three long
ones at the two sides and the bottom-hence the saying. Therefore, it is taboo to place one's chopsticks unevenly on the table.

DON'T Pointing at Others with Chopsticks
You should never perch your chopsticks between the thumb, middle, ring and little fingers, while sticking out your index finger, as it implies abuse. In most cases, Chinese people point at others with their index fingers to scold them. Therefore, such a movement is unacceptable. It is also considered bad manners to point at others,with your chopsticks, while chatting during a meal.

DON'T Sucking the Chopsticks Noisily

Usually, if one sucks his/her chopsticks in his/her mouth, while making noises, he/she is considered to have been raised improperly. This is similar to the belief that one should drink his/her soup quietly.

DON'T Striking Plates or Cups
Chinese people believe it is obscene to strike one's plates, cups or bowls with chopsticks, because, in the past, only beggars struck their bowls while begging.

DON'T Searching from Plate to Plate

Suppose that someone around you uses or on the table while transferring food from the serving dishes to your plate or bowl. If this happens, you should immediately apologize, as it is regarded as a serious breach of etiquette.

DON'T Reversing Heaven and Earth

When using chopsticks, you should be careful not to put them upside down; otherwise, others will look down upon you, as if you were a hungry beggar.

DON'T Miraculous Needle Pacifying the Ocean

You should never insert your chopsticks in a dish, in the
shape of the "miraculous needle pacifying the ocean.?? That
is considered to be an insult to other diners.

DON'T Burning Incense and offering Sacrifices

While serving someone a bowl of rice or noodles, you might insert a pair of chopsticks in the middle to make things convenient for the person. However, you will not be thanked for your good intentions, because such behavior is regarded as a mark of disrespect for the person. Why? Inserting the chopsticks in the middle of the rice bowl is similar to the placing of a burning stick of incense in the center of a burner while offering sacrifices to the dead.

DON'T Crisscrossing chopsticks

This point is often neglected by people, who place their chopsticks carelessly in a crisscross while having a meal. This is unacceptable because it implies the negation of all the other diners, much like putting a cross over the wrong answer on one's homework. At the same time, it shows disrespect to the host as in the past one had to put a cross and sign on the written confession when being charged.

DON'T Dropping Chopstick(s)

It is considered a serous breach of etiquette when one drops his/her chopstick(s) on the ground, as Chinese people believe it disturbs the ancestors, who are buried. However, this can be rectified by making crosses with the fallen chopstick(s) from east to west, and then from north to south. While picking up the chopstick(s), the person should murmur "I am a damn fool," to express his/her regret.

You should always take great care not to break the above-mentioned 12 taboos. By using a pair of chopsticks politely, you may catch a glimpse into China's profound culture.


China Yellow Pages