Chinese Chopsticks

Chinese Chopsticks

Chinese people have used chopsticks for at least 3,000 years. Thanks to the capability of chopsticks themselves, they have been the main tableware for a quarter of the population in the world for thousands of years.

This article is for advanced Chinese readers. There is a good mix of vocabularies related to physical movement, biology, and entertainment inside the article.

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English translation:

Chinese people have used chopsticks for at least 3,000 years. Thanks to the function of chopsticks themselves, two stick-like chopsticks have been the main tableware for a quarter of the population in the world for thousands of years.

They have the functions of clamping, pushing away, and picking up, which fully meet the needs of people to eat. For example, when eating noodles with chopsticks you can easily cut, clamp and put the noodles into the mouth by only one hand; while knives and forks are difficult to complete these actions independently. A famous Chinese American physicist Dr. Zheng-dao Li highly admired this Chinese ancient technological achievements when he visited Tokyo, Japan. He said that such two simple sticks apply the principle of a lever in physics. Chopsticks are the extension of human fingers. What the fingers can do, they can almost achieve as well, and they are neither afraid of the heat, nor the cold. They are really a remarkable innovation.

In fact, the Chinese used to eat with knives and chopsticks together. Then why did the Chinese give up using knives and choose to use chopsticks? For one thing, it is allegedly because knives are a kind of weapon, and the appearance of them will affect the atmosphere of joy in the banquet; for another, the cooking technology had been greatly developed. The meat didn’t have to be dealt with on the table on the scene so that knives reasonably didn’t have to be taken out.

In real life, chopsticks are more than just a kind of tableware in China. It has many functions such as being used in music and dance performance. “Chopsticks hit the piano” is a legend in ancient times, and “Chopsticks Dance” is a beautiful dance in one of the Chinese ethnic minorities.

As for the benefits of using chopsticks for health, that is also supported by science. According to Japanese scholars’ research, when people use chopsticks, they also contract more than 30 joints and 50 odd muscles, such as fingers, arms, and shoulders. These joints and muscles are connected to the brain. Therefore, using chopsticks is also very beneficial for adapting the nerves and stimulating the brain.

Exactly because of the multiple functions of chopsticks, now, there are not only Chinese people who still maintain the tradition of eating with chopsticks, but many foreigners also learn how to use them. Although some foreigners are not used to using chopsticks, they collect them as a craft or give them to friends.

The article is rewritten from a printed article. The photo is taken from here.  

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