Glossary

Chopsticks

Chopsticks are shaped pairs of equal length sticks that have been used as the traditional utensils of China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan for thousands of years. They can also be found in some areas of Tibet and Nepal that are close to Han Chinese populations. Chopsticks are smoothed and frequently tapered, and are commonly made of bamboo, plastic, wood, or stainless steel.

There are different kinds of Chopsticks used by Chinese, Koreans and Japanese.

The Chinese were the first people to invent chopsticks over 5000 years ago. It is said that they were considered as an extension of fingers.

The Japanese developed distinctive types of chopsticks, used for different purposes, which includes eating meals, picking up sweets, and were also used during funerals.

Korean chopsticks are often stainless steel and are not of the same length as those used in Japan and China.  Chopsticks made in Japan and China are made of natural materials. Korean chopsticks are made rough at the ends in order to hold the food as metal tends to be slippery.

Chopsticks are less commonly made from porcelain, silver, ivory or jade. Chopsticks are held in the dominant hand, between the thumb and fingers, and used to pick up pieces of food.

Image Courtesy: tanakawho used under the Creative Commons Licence

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