How to Use a Chop Stick

While we in the west may have been used to utilizing knives and forks as our utensils for consuming our food, chopsticks have been used by Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese and Taiwanese) for centuries as their tool for eating food. Chopsticks are basically two tapered sticks made from bamboo or wood (sometimes plastic) which is clench in one hand to collect the food and eat it. This article will show you how to properly use a chopstick as your utensil for eating.

Things you will need

  • Chopstick
  • Food


  1. Use one hand to take up the chopstick so that the ends are even and are not crossing each other. Us the hand you are more comfortable with (which is normally your writing hand).
  2. The chopsticks should rest between the tip of the fourth finger and the hollow gap between your thumb and index finger. Keep the forth finger straight that will be the bottom chopstick. Then take up the other stick and put it on top firmly between the tips of your thumb, the index and the middle fingers and curdle the index and middle fingers.
  3. When you are ready to eat, use the top chopstick to maneuver the food and keep the bottom chopstick in one place to pick up the food.
  4. To pick up the food, straighten your index and middle finger as much as needed to move the chopstick outward. Take the food and bring the chopsticks together by curling the index and middle fingers. Use your thumb as an axle to maneuver the chopstick like a pivot to collect the food.
  5. Now that you know the technique, make sure the tips of the chopstick are parallel to each other and take up the food firmly with the chopstick and eat. If you want to eat meat which contains meat, use one chopstick to hold the food and eat around the bone.

Do’s and Don’ts

  • In the Chinese/Japanese culture spearing your food with the chopstick is seen as impolite.
  • For persons who are not familiar with using the chopstick, try to practice using it as much as possible.
  • Do not use your chopsticks to point at someone.
  • When you have finished using the chopsticks, you should lay them down in front of you so the tips are to the left.
  • Do not pass food directly from one set of chopsticks to another. This is seen as a funeral tradition in the Chinese/ Japanese culture.
  • Do not wave your chopsticks in the air or move your plate or bowl around with them.

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