The Function of Chopsticks

 "Confused by Chopsticks" by Lisafx

"Confused by Chopsticks" by Lisafx

Have you wondered how many functions a pair of chopsticks could perform?  If you guessed to be more than one, your answer was right on.

Creative Use of Chopsticks

Let’s count a few of the common uses by a typical Chinese:

  1. Silverware to eat food with
  2. Egg beater to scramble eggs
  3. Utensil to cook dishes
  4. Stir for mixing drinks
  5. A spoon when making dumplings

Comparing to multiple use of a pair of chopsticks, Westerners would like to use very specialized tools and utensils for each specific purpose when cooking and eating.  My husband is a classic example of the latter.  When he cooks, you could easily spot a counter full of mixers, grinders, electric carving knife, etc.  A man has to have his toys, especially those with power, noise and speed.

What Can Be Inferred about the Cultural Differences

What’s so intriguing from this simple comparison can be highlighted as follows:

  1. Chinese tend to live a more frugal life style vs. Westerners’ easy access to different gadgets and tools.
  2. Chinese is more resourceful in leveraging the use of a simple pair of chopsticks vs. Westerners are great at inventing different tools for different uses.
  3. Chinese are more inclined to adhere to the tradition handed down from generations whereas Westerners constantly challenge the status-quo and are trying to make the things and processes better.

As you can tell from the above comparison, there are advantages and disadvantages of each culture and tradition depending on your own perspective.

Want to Know More about the Use and Etiquette of Chopsticks?

To end this post on a lighter note, in case some of you would like to perfect your skills in using chopsticks, please check out this video on YouTube by  The video also covers some of the basic etiquette in using chopsticks.

Remember, practice makes perfect.  Enjoy!

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