Why the Chinese Eat with Chopsticks? Check it Out
They have probably seen the fork by now, yet they still stick with chopstick. What could be the reason behind such a phenomenon? Is it merely a cultural thing, stubbornness or perhaps there is more to chopsticks than meets the eye? Let us explore the Chinese culture and see why chopsticks are so popular.
How did it begin?
Chopsticks first made an appearance in the Chinese culture in about 1200 BC. It is known that the great Chinese philosopher Confucius loathed knives, as he associated them with aggression, which was against his teachings. His influence in China was huge, and some people even consider Confucius to be the one that truly made chopsticks popular. The fact that you could not have knives on your table meant that your food needed to be already chopped, and thus chopsticks were more than useful for eating small bits of food.
They save Energy!
Resources were scarce in ancient times. This led people to find more efficient ways of cooking their food. By having their food chopped into small bits they were able to cook them faster, and thus used less energy. They often used twigs to start fires, as they were more than enough to cook small bits of food. Tiny pieces of food were very easy to handle with the use of chopsticks, so they were the obvious choice for tableware.
They Promote Selflessness
Food was hard to come by in ancient times. People and families had to share food equally, and the chopsticks were of much help in this matter. Chopsticks don’t let you pick up tremendous amounts of food and thus they promote selfless eating. If the Chinese were to use forks, people would have gotten greedy and selfish, because the fork allows us to pick up big amounts of food.
Whether you are planning a trip to China or any other Asian country, learning how to use the chopsticks might be of much help. Chopsticks have detached from the Chinese culture and they are now widely popular all throughout Asia. Many restaurants do not have flatware, so it might be a good idea to save yourself the embarrassment and learn how to use chopsticks. Southeast Asia is a great region that is truly worth visiting. As you will soon learn, it is also very cheap to visit. A budget of 35$ a day is more than enough for Southeast Asia.
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Feature image by ruthhelen