Two simple sticks to help you eat

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am


'You do not sew with a fork, and I see no reason why you should eat with knitting needles.'

Miss Piggy, great beauty and famous Muppet

Fear of chopsticks

You would not think that a simple pair of faai zi could frighten anybody. But, trained by parents to eat with a knife and fork, a typical westerner will see chopsticks as instruments of torture. How do you eat rice with two knitting needles?

Miss Piggy just could not see the reason for chopsticks. Let's show her she is wrong and teach her how to use them.

Use of chopsticks - easy-peasy!

Miss Piggy might have problems holding chopsticks in her right trotter, but she'd be all right with some expert advice. Complete the following guide to help chopstick newbies cope.

1 Chopsticks are ......... . You pick up the food with the narrow end.

a. rounded

b. tapered

2 The lower chopstick in your hand remains .........

a. moveable

b. stationary

3 Hold this lower chopstick between your ......... and middle finger.

a. big toe

b. thumb

4 The upper chopstick is held between the tip of your thumb and the underside of your index finger. It is this chopstick that you move ......... .

a. from side to side

b. up and down

5 To pick up food, use the chopsticks like a pair of pincers, ......... with the top one while not moving the bottom stick.

a. stabbing

b. scissoring


The next important thing to do in your chopstick lesson is to explain a bit about chopstick etiquette. When you are telling someone what not to do, your explanations must be exact and polite.

Complete these instructions with the correct verb or noun:

1 Do not ......... your chopsticks upright in your rice.

a. stick

b. bury

2 Never use a single chopstick to ......... a piece of food.

a. carry

b. spear

3 Don't put your chopsticks flat on the table. Use the .........

a. condiments

b. chopstick rest

4 Do not ......... your chopsticks even if the sauce on them is delicious.

a. bite

b. suck

5 Do not use the chopsticks that have been in your mouth to ......... food from a serving plate.

a. throw away

b. pick up

Chopsticks and common sense

Now, complete this general advice about using chopsticks.

Good chopstick manners vary from country to country in Asia, but there are a few common- sense rules that are easy to remember.

Match the two halves of these sentences to create some sensible rules.

1 For hygiene reasons, do not pass ......... .

2 Do not use your chopsticks to ......... .

3 When you have finished eating, you may ......... .

4 Your chopsticks should only be used to ......... .

a. ......... move food from your eating vessel to your mouth.

b. ......... try to cut food.

c. ......... put your chopsticks across your bowl to signal you have finished.

d. ......... pieces of food to someone else with your chopsticks.


Use of chopsticks: 1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. b, 5. b

Don'ts: 1. a, 2. b, 3. b, 4. b, 5. b

Chopsticks and common sense: 1. d, 2. b, 3. c, 4. a