Chopsticks, or Hashi, are considered very important by the Japanese and are believed to train small muscles in the hand which helps develop mental ability. This is why in Japan people are taught to use hashi since early years. Japanese researchers say that children who started to eat with chopsticks at the age of one develop faster than their counterparts who continue to eat with spoons.
Chopsticks for the Japanese are not just their personal thing of everyday use (it is not the custom to give them to others) but a holy symbol. According to legends they bring fortune and long life, so no wonder that chopsticks are considered a good present.
So if you are dining with our friends from Japan, there are certain chopstick etiquettes which must be followed in order to be respectful of them and their beliefs.
1. It is not allowed to stick chopsticks in food.
2. It is not allowed to shake chopsticks shaking off food back to a plate.
3. It is not allowed to leak odds of food off chopsticks.
4. It is not allowed to bring a plate close to a mouth and put food fast into a mouth with the help of
5. It is not allowed to push food into a mouth with chopsticks.
6. It is not allowed to shake chopsticks while eating.
7. It is not allowed to knock on a plate with chopsticks calling for a waiter.
8. It is not allowed to hold a plate with the same hand as chopsticks.
9. It is not allowed to ask for additional portion holding a plate and chopsticks in hands at a time.
10. It is not allowed to move a plate with chopsticks.
11. Before a dinner is over it is not allowed to put chopsticks on a plate, use the chopstick holder.
12. During a dinner it is not allowed to point at a companion with chopsticks.
13. It is not allowed to hold chopsticks in a mouth.
14. It is not allowed to stick chopsticks into rice as in Japan it is done only at funerals
15. Chopsticks must be held and used correctly.
16. It is not allowed to use chopsticks to eat directly from a shared dish (transfer to your own plate
17. It is not allowed to browse over food with your chopsticks.
18. It is not allowed to dig in food looking for something bit you want to eat.
19. It is not allowed to lick the ends of your chopsticks.
20. It is not allowed to transfer directly chopsticks to chopsticks as this is also only done at funerals.
21. It is not allowed to hold chopsticks for extended periods of time without eating.
22. It is not allowed to rub chopsticks together repeatedly after you break them apart as it's a sign
that they are cheap.
23. It is not allowed to cross your chopsticks when resting them on the table, also only done a
24. It is not allowed to swirl your chopsticks in your soup as it looks like your cleaning them.
In general, don't play with your chopsticks, remember, to Japanese people they are not just two sticks for eating but are deeply ingrained culture symbols.
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