Author Topic: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????  (Read 37856 times)

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Scritzy

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2008, 10:07:05 PM »
I had Japanese friends when I was in grade school, and they taught me to use chopsticks. However, I won't "chopstick" my salad at Kan Pai (or my soup or my sherbet, LOL!). Just my sushi and entrée. (And I keep my fork in order to facilitate putting the rest of my enormous meal into the go-box.)

When we celebrated my birthday at Kan Pai, I was given a little bamboo box that held a pair of imperial-red chopsticks. Now if I could only remember to take them with me when we go, so I don't have to ask for chopsticks every time. ;D

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Twik

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2008, 12:34:20 PM »
I was just going to start a thread about this!

I was at a Thai restaurant and was reminded that not all Asian cuisines use chopsticks - the owner at the Thai place we all love will politely supply them on demand, but Thai people traditionally use Western-style utensils, and I've always wondered if it were rude to ask for chopsticks at those types of restaurants.


A friend told me that in Thailand only "street food" from stalls is eaten with chopsticks, so that in a sit-down restaurant it's sort of odd-bordering-on-rude to ask for them. Kind of like going into a steakhouse and asking for plastic forks, "like we get at McDonalds".
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Rockie

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #32 on: September 26, 2008, 02:11:25 AM »
Gee, never realized I commit a faux pas every time I use chopsticks. :D

My boyfriend never ate Chinese food before he met me and never used chopsticks before. One time he asked for a pair of chopsticks to take home and practice with in case he ever had to eat with my family (he's gotten good with them ;D). There have been times when waiters have asked him whether he needs a fork, but not extend the same offer to me (he's white, I'm Asian). They'd make the offer either when they were taking our order or when our food arrives, so it's not like they saw him struggling with the chopsticks.

Starchasm

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2008, 03:29:39 PM »
AAAhahahaha!  Funny.  My family constantly rags on me for using chopsticks for eating Chinese and Japanese food, but they've never suggested that I am RUDE for doing it!  What a loon.

And for those of you who have trouble using chopsticks, have you tried different materials or sizes?  I can use lighter chopsticks, particularly wood, like a pro, but the heavier ones made out of ivory or metal are VERY hard for me to wrangle.  It's a balance thing.  Plus, the longer they are (while supposedly proportionate to your status and wealth) the clumsier I am with them.  I have very small hands.

So don't give up!  It may just be a matter of finding the right ones.  ;D

nutraxfornerves

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2008, 03:41:02 PM »
Veering slightly off topic, but...

I took a couple of trips to China in 1983 & 83. The trips included some internal flights on the national airline (the only one allowed to fly in China at the time) where a meal was served. Invariably, for some unknown reason, the only utensils available would be those cheap plastic airline knives & forks. Nary a chopstick in sight. It was interesting to watch the Chinese passengers attempting to cope as best as they could with unfamiliar utensils. (The food was generally of such a quality that an inability to eat it was no hardship, however.)

I have run into man people who cannot use chopsticks, even if they have eaten a lot of Asian meals. Some found it so intiidating the first time they tried that they never tried again. Others just never felt the need to learn the skill.

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Scritzy

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2008, 07:45:37 PM »
Chip doesn't use chopsticks because he says he doesn't like to fight with his food. He wants to eat it instead. ;D
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KCee

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2008, 07:53:07 PM »
I thought I knew how to eat with chopsticks - until the nice waiter in the Chinese restaurant quietly approached my table and laid something down on it. "Spoon," he said, and discreetly vanished.

Haha!  ;D I can use chopsticks, meaning that I can get the food from the plate into my mouth somehow, but I KNOW I don't do it correctly. 

JocelynCS

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2008, 10:29:50 PM »
Alas, I've always tried to use chopsticks when they're available at Asian restaurants, but I'm incredibly clumsy with my hands and don't seem to be improving much at all.  (A waitress once told me it's because my fingers are too small.  Heh!)

Alida

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #38 on: September 28, 2008, 01:15:49 AM »
I thought I knew how to eat with chopsticks - until the nice waiter in the Chinese restaurant quietly approached my table and laid something down on it. "Spoon," he said, and discreetly vanished.

LOL!  Could it be that that particular dish was not meant to be eaten with chopsticks or even a fork?


KenveeB

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #39 on: September 28, 2008, 11:41:35 AM »
Count me in as a chopsticker.  I always use chopsticks for Chinese food, whether I go out or have delivery.  I have a couple of sets of chopsticks at home -- I found a really cool "roll" that holds four pairs of chopsticks, perfect for stuffing in the back of the utensils drawer.

Sophia

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #40 on: September 28, 2008, 11:59:42 AM »
I am in the camp that can use chopsticks, but not really well.  How some people can cut things with chopsticks is beyond me. 
When I was in Taiwan using chopsticks was treated like most places treat speaking the native language.  Perfection was not required.  Any serious attempt was highly praised. 

Sneezy

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #41 on: September 28, 2008, 11:59:15 PM »
I carry a pair with me in case I'm confronted with a mass of lettuce. Green salads are much easier for me to eat with chopsticks rather than a fork for some odd reason. The ones that break down sound really cool, and a bit more adult than the orange polka dot bento set I'm taking on vacation!

Makes perfect sense to me.  With chopsticks, you can kind of fold the lettuce when you pick it up.  With a fork, it's a lot harder for me to fit the lettuce in my mouth somehow and I end up getting dressing splattered on either side of my face.

Regarding the OP, if I am eating sushi, I can not eat it with a fork.  If I try, things go flying in a most embarrassing fashion.  If I recall correctly, some things it is acceptable to eat with your fingers, which is pretty useful when I have a craving for sushi on a clutzy day.

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #42 on: September 29, 2008, 01:03:12 AM »
I learned to use chopsticks when I was 21. I was visiting a friend that is part Chinese, and he had cooked dinner. He set the table with chopsticks, and told me that if I wanted to eat, I either needed to use the chopsticks, or figure out where in the kitchen they kept the traditional silverware (everyone that lived in the house used chopsticks, as that is what they were raised with as all were part-Asian). I provided the entertainment with dinner that night, trying to master the chopsticks... but I did it! Well, I at least did it well enough to eat. :) He showed me where the traditional silverware was kept when we cleaned up, so that I could have cereal in the morning for breakfast.

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Karmelita

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #43 on: October 06, 2008, 12:39:17 AM »
I thought this one was positively bizarre when I read it too!  I always use chopsticks when I eat at a place that offers them but I couldn't care less if someone at the table doesn't want to.  Although...we did have some fun with my boss when he tried (and failed miserably) to use them at a birthday lunch, but nothing mean-spirited - he laughed along with us. 

My maternal grandfather spent many, many years living and traveling in Asia, and he taught my sister and I how to use them when we were quite young.  I can't imagine my technique is perfect, but I've never had an issue using them.  We did get a nice compliment in a teppanyaki restaurant when a girl who worked us approached our table and politely asked if we had ever lived in Asia.  We were a little confused and said that we had not.  She said that she was from Japan and was ashamed that we ate rice with chopsticks better than she did.  It was really cute.

Cami

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Re: Relatives: Chopsticks Are Rude???????????
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2008, 04:38:22 PM »
It's certainly possible to grow up without learning how to use chopsticks. I did and I grew up outside NYC and had my share of Asian food. But I never learned in large part bec no one ever showed me and in part bec there were always forks and knives were on the tables --why would I want to fight with my food if I don't have to.  As an adult I've tried to learn and although I'm quite adept with my hands (I was a bridal seamstress/fitter, for one example), I simply cannot do it. DD learned when she was 6 and at nearly 50 I still cannot do it. It's not one of my big life worries, to be honest.

And where I live now? Let's put it this way, when we moved here 18 years ago (and keep in mind this is a big university town), our race was questioned because we both have brunette hair. Why? Because "white people have blonde hair." So I can pretty much assure you that if the natives think brown hair is so exotic that we cannot be caucasian, I can assure you that there are few natives here who know how to use chopsticks.