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Old 08-19-2007, 10:37 AM   #51
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Oh honey, we get that ALL the time! (And we just smile and spit in their tea before we hand it to them)

All kidding aside BT, I completely understand your point and was genuinely apologizing if it was my statement that caused offense. I tend to edit myself rather severely as I can be rather loquacious at times. (I know that surprises you all to heck). Just to give some credence to my words, I should add that my girls both attended elementary school at a Mandarin language immersion school. They were both in the english program, but they have learned a whole lot about the culture etc. And let me tell you, the New Years party ROCKS! And you know how schools do hot lunch days? Well, their school does Chopstick lunches. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!!! Very cool.
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Old 08-19-2007, 12:42 PM   #52
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I'm of Chinese immigrant stock from both sides, born and raised in an Asian country some distance from China. I grew up using chopsticks once in a while at the table. Given my immigrant mixed-cultural environment, I'm definitely not an authority on the subject of Chinese chopsticks usage, let alone Asian chopsticks usage.

From my personal experience however, there is a correct way of holding/using chopsticks, in terms of finger positions. You'd be surprised to know that not all Chinese know this. (I only learned this myself when I visited an uncle in mainland China.) Also, holding the chopsticks 3/4 to 4/5 of the way up from the food end is considered more elegant. Any lower than this would appear gauche. Picking food up from the serving plate with the food end of the chopsticks is okay as long as you don't touch the rest of the food. People normally use the wrong end when serving food to somebody else's plate. It just shows courtesy.

Also from my experience, whether you hold the chopsticks wrongly or not, it's really no big deal. Not to my parents nor to our elders. Especially if you're not Asian. It's a non-issue. (In fact, some of my siblings hold chopsticks incorrectly.) Now, a non-Asian holding chopsticks correctly will defnitely impress those who know better and may even elicit admiring comments and questions as to how the person learned it.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:10 PM   #53
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Thank you Bucky and the others for your sensitivities in avoiding lumping Asians together and respecting the individual Asian cultures. To this day, I find it jarring and even upsetting to see westerners use 'Chinese' as a generic term to mean Asian.

Editted: A while back in one of the threads here this happened, where the term 'Chinese' was used to refer to all things Oriental, including Japanese. In this particular case, given the historical tensions between China and Japan, it was as wrong as somebody using the term 'French' to include all things German (former WWII occupier).

I am thankful for the fact that there is growing cultural awareness now among people in the world, whether through food, technology, the arts, etc. and this can only be for the good of all.

Ok, I'm getting off the soap box now. :-) Thank you for your attention.
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Old 08-19-2007, 01:59 PM   #54
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I am an American with no noticiable traces of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc in me. I did take 5 years of Japanese in high school, and while I retained relatively little, we did a few lessons on using chopsticks, taught to a foreigner's prespective.

To make oneself look least foolish as possible, hold one chop stick between your index and middle finger, this is the "sturdy base" in my experience, a more experienced chopstick pro may disagree. Hold the other chopstick in similar fashion to holding a pen or pencil as if about to write, between the index and thumb. Slide your finger and thumb up as to not touch your food with it, a bit more to seem elegant (just learned that!). The chopstick you hold like a pencil is the one you should be most dilligent with, which most foreigners would find agreeable since those are our more dexterious fingers.

Hope my 2 cents may have helped a beginner out there. Peace!
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:45 PM   #55
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That's how I was taught, too, BBQ Mikey. I don't use chopsticks often, but I consider myself competent enough to keep the food off me and get it to the mouth.

I have never used the metal ones Bucky refers to, but I am not fond of laquered ones; I find them slippery. My favorites were a friend's. They were made from ivory, squarish and carved at the grip end and round and blunt at the food end. I find the cheap wooden ones quite satisfactory.
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Old 08-19-2007, 03:59 PM   #56
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I always thought that I can eat with chop sticks pretty well. The other day I was seating in the park, waiting for my son to come out for lunch and there were this asian couple (do not know where they were from) they were eating some take out. They were holding and operating the chop sticks completely diferent than the way I do it. I'm sure they do it the right way and not me.
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Old 08-19-2007, 04:56 PM   #57
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showing one way to use chopsticks. This is the same way I use them. She has contact with them at about the halfway point and abut 1/4 of the chopsticks behind her hand. She’s using ceramic chopsticks which I’ve never tried before.

For the scientifically inclined, showing how to eat (drink?) tea (liquid tea) with chopsticks in zero gravity.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:22 PM   #58
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there is picture about how to use chopstix
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:25 PM   #59
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Even though the basis of the topic was spam, I still felt like I needed to give a "Yes" to the question. Thanks to my interest being sparked in trying sushi, I've come to know how to use chopsticks relatively well.
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:04 PM   #60
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I can and do use chopstix. I have never had anyone show me how to use them correctly and so don't know if I am or not. But I try my best nad have come up with something that works for me.

This thread has been very interesting and informative. It gives me new knowledge so that I can improve my chopstix skills.

As for lumping all Asians together, that's really no big deal for me, as I purposely try to lump all of humanity together. I try to see no difference between one group of people and another. That way, I can avoid predjudices and pre-supposed traits.

Yes, I do know their are cultural differences between differing people. But I tend to get to the basics. We all want to live good lives and most importantly, provide good lives for our families.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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