Yes, you must have. You must all have the experience of savoring Chinese cuisine in Chinese restaurants and were confronted with the utensils laying right in front of you that looked so unfamiliar.
Of course, as always, there are forks and knives somewhere available. But, standing right in front of you being wrapped nicely with a Chinese cloth, you might have perhaps started to wonder…”should I give it a try? What is there to lose anyway? I am here in a Chinese restaurant, I am here to indulge and experience cultural differences!”
Image: The Cultural Frontier
What are the 5 golden rules to ensure that you are not crossing cultural barriers when you are in a Chinese restaurant?
When giving yourself a pause during eating, do not place your chopsticks vertically on the bowl, it is the most impolite chopsticks manner if you did so. It is as if you are using the chopsticks to worship your ancestors, a big taboo in the Chinese eating etiquette.
When not knowing what to choose from a big plate of bowl, do not attempt to use YOUR chopsticks to dig into the bowl and search for a particular ingredient that you like. Think about it, would you like to taste a bit of your friends’ saliva? In most cases, when visiting a Chinese restaurant, there is always a “public” utensil on each plate for everyone to use. In this case, you would not have the chance to use your chopsticks to get something out of the big plate to eat.
Do not try to use the chopsticks to create music with your bowl. This is commonly known as what beggars would do. To grab attention from the public to get earn pity and money.
Do not even try to suck the end of the chopsticks between your teeth when something is stuck in between. It is common sense that it is not going to help much, instead, it is only showing what a bad table manner you conduct and the lack of family education you have.
Be careful when using chopsticks, try not to drop the chopsticks on the ground, if by accident, apologize sincerely because as what Chinese people believe, when the chopsticks are dropped on the ground, the ancestors of the host have been disturbed. This has to do with the history of long time ago when our ancestors were buried under ground instead of burning them into ashes.
Source: The Cultural Frontier