As if just using chopsticks -- the utensils, not the song from Big -- wasn’t hard enough, it turns out there’s a whole code of conduct that comes along with them. Use them incorrectly and you’ve performed the Eastern equivalent of putting your elbows on the table and chewing with your mouth open.
To help avoid those faux pas, we consulted a group of experts and asked them to share a few basic protocols. Heed this advice. Not only will it help you save face. But it'll also help you avoid pissing off slumbering ghosts.
Don’t assume that all Asian foods require them
“Chopsticks are technically the major eating utensils for the four East Asian countries -- China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam,” says Andrea Nguyen, the cookbook author behind Viet World Kitchen. So in the Philippines, for example, most dishes are actually eaten with a fork and spoon. Next time you're at Jollibee, don't bother asking for sticks to eat your spaghetti.