Chopsticks has a history of about 5,000 years in China. It is likely that people cooked their food in large pots which retained heat well, and hasty eaters then broke twigs off trees to retrieve the food. By 400 BCE, a large population and dwindling resources forced people to conserve fuel.


 While most of us might see chopsticks as merely utensils, they are much more than that for the Chinese people. They symbolize the rich history, culture and traditions of China. Wondering how? Watch this video –

chinese-demand-for-chopsticks-is-destroying-forests-lawmaker-says (1)

Brief History of Chopsticks

Chinese eating utensils normally are chopsticks, spoons, bowls. Forks are not used on the table and never can you see knives. It is thought that Confucius, a vegetarian, advised people not to use knives at the table because knives would remind them of the slaughterhouse. It is also thought it is because the Chinese take their meals very seriously, and feel that the meal table should be a place of peace and harmony. The knife could be used as a weapon, and could disrupt the harmony of the table. Because of this, the knife, and anything else that could disrupt the harmony, is banned from the table.

Chopsticks are two long, thin, usually tapered, pieces of wood. Bamboo has been the most popular material of chopsticks because it is inexpensive, readily available, easy to split, resistant to heat, and has no perceptible odor or taste. Cedar, sandalwood, teak, pine, and bone have also been used. The wealthy, however, often had chopsticks made from jade, gold, bronze, brass, agate, coral, ivory, and silver. In fact, during dynastic times it was thought that silver chopsticks would turn black if they came into contact with poisoned food. It is now known that silver has no reaction to arsenic or cyanide, but if rotten eggs, onion, or garlic are used, the hydrogen sulfide they release might cause these chopsticks to change color.

I am a Malaysian Chinese and most of the time while dining I would always insist on using chopsticks. If you have not try using them please give it a go and if you are already a chopstick user I hope that you are using them in a the proper way.

Happy Chopsticking!


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