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Rules of Chopstick Etiquette

Never stick your chopsticks upright in your rice bowl. (This is used to honor the dead at a family altar or gravesite).  Place them on the chopstick holder-- usually a small ceramic or metal oblong by your plate when you are not using them.

Don’t lick your chopsticks if you are in public.

  • Try not to let the tips of your chopsticks touch your lips or tongue if you are using them to remove food from a communal plate, as this is unsanitary behavior.
  • Don’t stab your food as though it were a giant toothpick.
  • Don’t dig around in the food if you are eating “family style” from common bowls or platters of food. If your chopsticks touch something, it’s yours.
  Source: “Everything You Need to Know to Understand China A to Z”, by  May-lee Chai and Winberg Chai
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