How To Be Chinese - 01 - Chopsticks

01 – Chopsticks

Hi guys, I'm Chris, and this is How To Be Chinese!

Today it’s about CHOPSTICKS!

Now that you’re Chinese, you’re going to be using chopsticks to eat your food. Not all your food, but most of it.

The concept is simple: pair of sticks. They can be made of almost anything ranging from bamboo to plastic. Though if your chopsticks are made from silver, you’re a rich mother... (and protecting yourself from poison). And if they're made from metal, you’re probably Korean - not Chinese.

Now your foreign friend might say: Excuse me, I appreciate your exotic culture, but don’t you think that the knife and the fork are much more practical?

Um… no.
You’re Chinese, your food is not steaks and potatoes, and it’s not Bratwurst either. Almost everything you eat comes chopped up in little chunks, just perfect for chopsticks! And if you’re having rice, you can just shovel it in there, right from the bowl. So what would you need a knife and a fork for?

And here he is again, your foreign friend: Ok, ok, I understand that you want to use these chopping sticks, but how do you hold them correctly?

The answer is: it doesn’t matter! To you as a Chinese, the only thing that matters is that you don’t drop your food all over the table.

However, there are two things you don't do: you don’t stick your chopsticks into a bowl of rice like this (because that’s for the dead!), and you don’t touch the eating end (because that’s just nasty!).
As towards the technical aspects of operating a pair of chopsticks, that’s something for the foreigners to worry about. You’re Chinese now - you don’t give a wang!

And here is something else that your foreign friend probably doesn’t know:
Apart from having food or getting "oriental hairstyles", chopsticks can be used for a bunch of things.

Like: opening a beer!

Congratulations, you’re now a chopstick-wielding, beer-bottle-opening, no-wang-giving Chinese, and you’re AWESOME!

[accordion initial='0'] [accordion_item title='Cultural References'] [list style='regular'] [list_item]00:13 & 00:56 - Stephen Chow (周星馳) - "The God of Cookery"《食神》(movie, 1996).[/list_item] [list_item]00:25 - Wrist watch, hinting at the several so-called "watch gates" (手表门) - scandals involving corrupted officials flaunting expensive wrist watches. Five mao note, hinting at the so-called "50 cent" (五毛) commentators who are supposed to be paid off by officials in order to make government-friendly postings online. Llama (or alpaca), representing the internet slang "Grass Mud Horse" (草泥马), which in turn represents a homophonous insult.[/list_item] [list_item]00:28 - Jeffrey Lau (刘镇伟) - "The Eagle Shooting Heroes" 《射雕英雄传之东成西就》(movie, 1993).[/list_item] [list_item]00:32 - A chimera composed of Psy (South Korean rapper) & Kim Il-Sung (former North Korean dictator), to a short excerpt from Psy's song "Gangnam Style".[/list_item] [list_item]00:41 - Ning Hao (宁浩) - "Crazy Stone"《疯狂的石头》(movie, 2006): "what's all this about?(怎么回的事啊?)[/list_item] [list_item]00:49 - Chinese character for "tear down"(拆), which is often tagged onto walls of buildings which have been designated for demolition.[/list_item] [list_item]00:53 - dish of Mapo doufu(麻婆豆腐), which should ideally be prepared so that the tofu is solid enough to be picked up with chopsticks.[/list_item] [list_item]01:09 - Stephen Chow (周星驰) - "Flirting Scholar"《唐伯虎点秋香》(movie, 1993).[/list_item] [list_item]01:20 - Shang Jing (尚敬) - "My Own Swordsman"《武林外传》(TV series, 2006-).[/list_item] [list_item]01:33 - Wei Zheng (韦正) - "iPartment"《爱情公寓》(TV series, 2010-).[/list_item] [list_item]01:37 - Popular online video "For foreign children, eating noodles with chopsticks is too hard!"《对外国儿童而言,用筷子吃面太难了!》[/list_item] [list_item]01:44 - GWAR - "Sick Of You" (song, 1990) along with photos of Chinese rock festival visitors.[/list_item] [list_item]03:31 - Dancer Of The Day, a person who was kind enough to offer a short dancing clip for me to use in this video. Thank you Dancer Of The Day![/list_item] [/list] [/accordion_item] [accordion_item title='Moxie'] [list style='regular'] [list_item]02:31 - The number "3000" is an estimate of the age of the oldest archeologically documented pair of chopsticks[/list_item] [list_item]02:47 - "20,000,000" is a number derived from news reports about an official statement made on the topic in spring 2013.[/list_item] [list_item]03:05 - The cited poll "What do you think of the correct holding of chopsticks?"(筷子正确拿法,你怎么看?)was carried out according to strictly non-scientific standards in spring 2014 by yours truly. A total of 496 votes came in, with 116 opting for "must be held correctly"(必须按照正确拿法使用)(23,6%), 100 for "actually I don't really know what exactly qualifies as 'correctly'"(其实我不太清楚到底怎么样才算“正确”)(20.3%), and 276 for "it's good as long as you can pick up your food"(能夹起菜就行了嘛)(56.1%).[/list_item] [list_item]- If you start digging for it, you will not only find a ton of information about the "correct" holding of chopsticks (Chinese style vs. Japanese style etc.), but you will also find yourself confronted with dozens of courtesy rules (which direction not to point your chopsticks, etc.). In everyday life, most of these hardly apply.[/list_item] [/list] [/accordion_item] [accordion_item title='Translations'] [list style='regular'] [list_item]02:58 - "Be more professional, ok? Take this more seriously! Can you do that?"[/list_item] [/list] [/accordion_item] [accordion_item title='Additional Information'] [list style='regular'] [list_item]The blue background used on some of the inserts is an enhanced version of the CCTV1 news bulletin on June 4th 1989.[/list_item] [list_item]The emoticons are part of a popular set of QQ icons.[/list_item] [list_item]Other sounds and Images are a) private or b) properly licensed through Envato, Depositphotos or Premiumbeat or c) belong to the public domain.[/list_item] [list_item]Licensed music at 02:11 is: Dxvid - "Hip Hop Loop 2" (Envato).[/list_item] [list_item]Drawings of my face by Jia Meng: http://lartdejiameng.blogspot.com[/list_item] [list_item]Glasses are from my dad. :)[/list_item] [list_item]The infamous Censorship Llama strikes at 00:25![/list_item] [/list] [/accordion_item] [/accordion]

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