Saturday, 21 March 2015
I’ve seen a lot of viral foodie articles going around about how clever people think they are knowing the different dumpling names at yum cha, or how to pour tea properly, or the numerous little rituals that go into Asian dining. That’s all very cute, but there is one area I haven’t really seen covered yet: how to hold your chopsticks properly.
To paraphrase one of my favourite scenes from Casino Royale, there’s holding your chopsticks and holding your chopsticks. This is the latter.
Those of us who can’t do it properly are often mocked for holding them like a child. It’s almost a secret shame.
On the other hand, Westerners who can do it will get a silent nod of approval. This is, in my experience, incredibly rare.
I’m not going to explain how it’s done. It’s a bit like The Matrix: no one can be told how to do it – you have to see it for yourself.
The ABCs of ABCs is a light-hearted attempt to explain the ins and outs of the Australian-Born Chinese culture for Caucasians who can’t make any sense of it. There’s a lot of idiosyncratic behaviour I get asked the same questions about, so I’m going to do my best to answer them. Call it my way of bridging the gap between cultures.