As we all know, the Chinese eat with chopsticks. What you don’t know is why?

After several searches I discovered this…

The word ‘chopsticks’ is called Kuaize 筷子. The term Kuazi is composed of the character 竹 (zhu), which means bamboo, and the character kùai (快) which means fast. These characters put together create a single character 筷 Kuai which, combined with the character 子 (zi = son) gives life to the word “chopsticks”.

Precisely for this reason their meaning of “fast / son”, it is customary to give chopsticks to young spouses as a wish to have a child as soon as possible.

When was the use of chopsticks born?

 The first chopsticks date back to 1200 BC, during the Shang Dynasty, but there are also many legends about the birth of them, my favourite is this:

… One ordinary day King Zhouwang waited to eat his royal feast together with his concubine Daji.

During the royal dinner, the King noticed that the serving that had been served to him was too hot and he could not eat it. The King was very strict and immediately called the court cook for explanations. The cook risked a lot that day, his own life, but thanks to the cunning and charm of concubine Daji, the cook was saved.

Oh yes, Daji, she had a fascinating idea, she used two of her jade pins to take food and give to her ruler.

Needless to say, the sovereign was immensely enchanted by such an elegant gesture, so much so that he decided to want to use those pins at every meal ….

Use of chopsticks

When you eat with chopsticks, be careful never to point at anyone with them and be careful not to place them inside the empty bowl, because it is a symbol of a funeral rite.

Never skewer food with chopsticks, because it is a symbol of death and food is sacred to them.

Do not drum on the plate with chopsticks, it is a gesture reserved only for beggars.

It is bad manners to bite or lick chopsticks.

Oddities at the table

The Chinese are very noisy and at the table they appreciate the “burp” at the end of the meal, it is synonymous with having enjoyed the food very much and for this the cook will be flattered.

In a few days in China it will be the Feast of the Ancestors, and one of the many customs is to make a kite fly in the sky.

In order not to feel stuck at home for too long, I decided to create a kite to fly in the sky (obviously from my home balcony) and then I will set the table and enjoy a good dish of “Cantonese rice”.

Cantonese Rice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice
  • Eggs
  • Peas
  • Onion
  • Diced cooked ham
  • Soy sauce

Cook the rice for about 5 minutes, then drain it well (the rice must be al dente) and let it cool while turning it from time to time.

In the meantime, put the eggs in a pan and scramble them well. In another pan, fry the oil with the onion and then add the peas.

When the peas are cooked, add the eggs and rice, mix everything and add a spoonful of soy sauce and finally add the diced ham.

Enjoy your meal!


Lucilla Minori

ITA

Laureata in lingua cinese, da sempre amante del vasto panorama orientale, per le tradizioni, i colori, le culture, le credenze mitologiche, in particolare quelle cinesi. Eternamente innamorata del mondo e della sua vastità.

ENG

A graduate in Chinese language studies, she has always been a lover of the vast eastern landscape, for its traditions, colors, cultures, mythological beliefs, especially Chinese ones. Eternally in love with the world and its vastness.

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