Connect with us

Social Media

Chinese Business Etiquette – The Seven Rules of Chopsticks

Published

on

With more and more businesses and investors flocking to China to try and boost falling revenues back home, there is likely to be a huge increase in business lunches. While these are generally informal affairs, business discussion is considered to be off the menu (as it were) during social occasions, it’s important to understand how to use your chopsticks so you don’t offend your Chinese partners. Here are seven simple rules to keep you on track.

Keep Your Chopsticks Even

When you place your sticks down by the side of your plate or bowl there is a little holder designed to keep them from rolling around on the table. You should ensure that you lay them down evenly with no overlap on either end on this holder. Why? Apparently because this reminds the Chinese of the shape of a coffin and nobody wants death at the dinner table outside of an Agatha Christie novel.

Don’t Stick Your Forefinger Out

The correct way to hold your chopsticks is to use your thumb and forefinger to secure them and then three fingers placed down the side to control them. If your forefinger ends up sticking out it reminds the locals of being scolded and it’s considered very rude. As an additional point here it’s also rude to point at someone with your chopsticks too.

Don’t Knock Them Against the Bowl

This is really rude; when beggars approach people on the street in China they knock their fingers against the begging bowl to attract attention. The gesture is deeply offensive and a great way to ruin a budding relationship with your Chinese partners.

Don’t Leave Chopsticks Stuck in Dishes

Perhaps the most unforgivable moment of rudeness is to insert your sticks into the dish and leave them standing up, it’s the equivalent of showing some the middle finger back home. Always place them by the side of the dish when you’re not using them to eat with.

Don’t Pass the Rice with Serving Chopsticks Stuck in It

Again take the sticks out and pass them separately from the plate, it might seem like a great time saver but it reminds the Chinese of incense being burned at funerals and the whole death taboo comes back into play.

Don’t Cross the Streams

Side-by-side evenly is how you put down your sticks, that’s what the little holder is for. If you cross them over you are essentially asserting that you think your dinner companion is wrong (about whatever they are currently talking about). It’s similar to the little red cross left in school books and a bit of a sore subject for locals.

Don’t Drop Them on the Floor

This one is shrouded in the historical belief that Chinese ancestors live beneath us and by dropping your utensils on the floor you will upset their spirits. If you do drop them by accident, apologise immediately. Never do it on purpose.

While these are the general rules of conduct when dining in China, it’s worth noting that some areas or families may have other important customs. It’s best to pay attention to your host and follow their lead to avoid offense.

Source by Nick Kellingley

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Top Posts

Recents

China4 weeks ago

How will Thailand’s election affect China?

China's investment in Thailand will not be affected much by the result of the general election.

United States2 months ago

Huawei Sues the U.S. for Restricting Business With Federal Agencies

China2 months ago

Chinese investors spent $2.3 bln in Thai property in 2018

Chinese investors have continued pouring their money into Thailand’s property sector even as the kingdom barrels toward an uncertain national election. See author's...

China5 months ago

US–China trade war : will there be a winner ?

The U.S. and China are hours away from a new round of tariffs on each other’s goods, with no improvement...

Economics5 months ago

Trumping financial risks in Asia

Twenty years after the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98 and the global financial crisis of 2007–08, storm clouds are gathering...

Companies5 months ago

Thai Startup Event Banana

Event banana, a Thai start-up based on event venues and its online marketplace, has recently been able to raise about...

Business6 months ago

营商环境报告:东亚经济体继续大力推进改革议程改善营商环境

世界银行集团今天发布的《2019年营商环境报告:强化培训,促进改革》称,东亚太平洋地区各经济体继续大力推进改革议程,在过去一年里实施了43项改革以改善中小企业的营商便利度。 bsullivan See author's posts Related

News7 months ago

What are US-China Trade War Implications for Thailand ?

What are the implications of a US-China for Thailand? Will the economy be hit by global market disruption? Or could...