8 Oct 2018
Asian Culture – Chopsticks Challenge
Chopsticks are eating utensils in virtually all of East Asia. Yet, more and more westerns know how to use chopsticks as well. If you are one of the devotees of Asian food, you must be familiar with chopsticks. Chopsticks originated from China and began to spread to Japan and Korea by 500 A.D, yet, the chopsticks now in China, Japan and Korea are all different!
The Chinese considered chopsticks as an extension of fingers and that’s why they are typically longer and thicker when comparing with the Korean and Japanese models. If you have ever been to a Chinese restaurant, you may have ever seen the “Lazy Susan”, which is the name of the rotating tray placed on a table. Without a pair of long and thick chopsticks, you are probably unable to reach the dishes placed in the middle of the round table even with the help of Lazy Susan. Despite the length of Chinese chopsticks are so remarkable, you should also pay a little attention to their rectangular shape with the blunt ends.
Unlike the Chinese model, Japanese chopsticks are generally rounded at the ends and shorter since there is a custom to hold the bowl close to mouth when eating. You can also easily find the orchestrated colorful design, which cannot be found on other chopsticks, on the Japanese wooden chopsticks. They are real craft.
If you see chopsticks made of stainless steel, they are most likely the Korean Chopsticks. The shiny chopsticks have a story behind. In ancient Korea, the chopsticks were made of pure silver so as to prevent the royalty from poisoning. As the time passed by, Korean no longer use the silver- made chopsticks, yet, they still feel like royalty when eating with the metal chopsticks. Not only the metallic surface makes the Korean chopsticks unique, but also the shape of flat rectangle. The shape could be a problem as it is not easy to manipulate the Korean chopsticks due to the flat shape.
While Asian are finding difficult to distinguish the purpose of different forks and spoons, western may not take any advantage over us. The hassle of manipulating different type of chopsticks is also a great challenge for them.