筷子 (kuàizi): n. chopsticks
涵养 (hányǎng): n.good behavior
As you are doing business with Chinese people, you may have used “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks.” But do you know the taboos of using this dining tool? The following list has five things you must know about the use of “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks.”
1. Never use your index finger wrong with “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks”
Hold “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” with your “大拇指 (dàmǔzhǐ) thumb,” “中指 (zhōngzhǐ) middle finger,” “无名指 (wúmíngzhǐ) ring finger,” and “小拇指 (xiǎomǔzhǐ) little finger,” but be sure not to point your “食指 (shízhǐ) index finger” at others. It is widely acknowledged in China that when someone is about to swear, they tend to point their “食指 (shízhǐ) index finger” at others. So if you let your “食指 (shízhǐ) index finger” point to other guests at the table, it is perceived as being impolite.
2. Never hold “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” in your mouth
Do not hold “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” in your mouth and suck them.It is regarded as lack of “涵养 (hányǎng) good behavior.” Besides, if you suck on the “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks,” you are very likely to make strange noises, which is often quite annoying.
3. Never use only one “筷子 (kuàizi) chopstick”
Do not get what you want to eat with only one chopstick. It is well-recognized that both “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” are always used together. But when you use only one of them to get something really small, it is like sticking up your “中指 (zhōngzhǐ) middle finger” to someone in Western culture.
4. Never put your “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” in a bowl of rice
Do not put your “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” in the middle of a bowl of rice before eating. This is an action employed when you want to pay your respects to your ancestors who have passed away.
5. Never hit a bowl or plate with “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks”
Do not use your “筷子 (kuàizi) chopsticks” to hit the bowl or the plate, even when you feel bored. That’s what beggars do when they beg for food.
Key Learning Points:
筷子 (kuàizi): n.chopsticks
Hěnduō wàiguórén rènwéi yòng kuàizi hé xué hǎo Zhōngwén yíyàng kùnnan.
很多 外国人 认为 用 筷子 和 学 好 中文 一样 困难。
Many foreigners think that skillfully using chopsticks is as hard as learning Chinese.
涵养 (hányǎng): n. good behavior
Zhāng Míng: Mǎ Kè, tīngshuō nǐ zuìjìn zài xuéxí lǚyóu hànyǔ.
张 明： 马 克，听说 你 最近 在 学习 旅游 汉语。
Zhang Ming: Mark, I heard that you are taking travel Chinese courses recently.
Mǎ Kè: Duì. Zhōngwén lǎoshī hái tèbié qiángdiào le lǚyóu zhōng de hányǎng wèntí.
马 克：对。 中文 老师 还 特别 强调 了 旅游 中 的 涵养 问题。
Bǐrú shuō, búyào zài jiànzhùwù shàng luàntúluànhuà.
比如 说， 不要 在 建筑物 上 乱涂乱画。
Mark: Yes. My Chinese teacher emphasizes good behavior when travelling. For example, do not scrawl on the buildings during your trip.
生词 (shēngcí) Vocabulary:
大拇指 (dàmǔzhǐ): n.thumb
食指 (shízhǐ): n.index finger
中指 (zhōngzhǐ): n.middle finger
无名指 (wúmíngzhǐ): n. ring finger
小拇指 (xiǎomǔzhǐ): n. little finger