Taboos when Using Chopsticks in China, 中国人用筷子的禁忌

Taboos when Using Chopsticks in China, 中国人用筷子的禁忌


 中国人使用筷子用餐是从远古流传下来的,古时又称其为“箸”。日常生活中对筷子的运用是非常有讲究的。一般我们在使用筷子时,正确的使用方法是用右手执筷,大拇指和食指捏住筷子的上端,另外三个手指自然弯曲扶住筷子,且要把筷子两端对齐。用餐前筷子要整齐地码放在饭碗的右侧,用餐后则要整齐地竖向码放在饭碗的正中。但是,以下筷子的使用方法绝对是禁忌。

Chinese people have been using chopsticks as their tableware ever since ancient times, when they were called “zhu”. People are very particular about the use of chopsticks in daily life. Usually, we hold the upper part of chopsticks with thumb and index finger of the right hand, and use the other three naturally bent fingers to support the chopsticks with both ends matched. Before dinner, chopsticks should be put neatly on the right of the rice bowl; after we have finished eating, they should be put above the vertical midline of the bowl. Be sure to remember the following taboos in using chopsticks.


用餐时将筷子长短不齐的放在桌子上。

Don’t put chopsticks in a random order on the table.

在用餐前或用餐过程中,不能将筷子长短不齐的放在桌子上。这种做法是大不吉利的。因为中国人过去认为人死以后是要装进棺材的,在人装进去以后,还没有盖棺材盖的时候,棺材的组成部分是前后两块短木板,两旁加底部共三块长木板,五块木板合在一起,做成的棺材正是三长两短、长短不齐的,所以说用筷子时也忌讳“长短不齐”。这是极为不吉利的事情。

It is ominous when a pair of chopsticks is not neatly put together with the ends seeming different in length because it is reminiscent of funeral rites. In Chinese culture, a person is put into a coffin after death, and uncovered coffins are made of three long wooden boards and two short ones, which are vary in length. Therefore, it is also deemed unlucky to use mismatching chopsticks.

吃饭时把食指伸出指别人。

Don’t point your index finger at others while using chopsticks.

在吃饭时食指伸出,总在不停地指别人,一般伸出食指去指对方时,大都带有指责的意思。所以说,吃饭用筷子时用手指人,无异于指责别人,这同骂人是一样的,是不能够允许的。

Pointing your index finger at others usually implies accusation, thus doing so while eating cannot be permitted.

吃饭时用嘴嘬筷子。

Don’t suck the end of a chopstick.

在吃饭时用嘴嘬筷子的本身就是一种无礼的行为,再加上配以声音,更是令人生厌。所以一般出现这种做法都会被认为是缺少家教,同样不能够允许。

This behavior itself is already very impolite, not to mention the disgusting noise. This behavior is also not permitted and is usually thought as a result of inadequate upbringing.

用餐时用筷子敲击盘碗。

Don’t tap chopsticks on the edge of your bowl or plate.

俗话说“敲碗敲筷子,讨吃一辈子。”过去只有要饭的才用筷子击打要饭盆,其发出的声响配上嘴里的哀告,使行人注意并给予施舍。这种做法被视为极其下贱的事情,被别人所不齿。

As an old saying goes, “Tapping bowls and you’ll be a beggar for life”. In the past, only beggars tapped and implored to attract the attention and compassion of passers-by. People will hold a person in contempt if he taps his bowls.

用餐时拿着筷子在餐盘里扒拉。

Don’t poke at your food while you decide what to eat next.

手里拿着筷子在菜盘里不住的扒拉,以求寻找食物。这种做法属于缺乏教养的做法,令人生厌。

It is vulgar and disgusting to poke at a dish looking for something to eat.

用筷子夹菜时将菜汤洒落。

Don’t let liquids drip from your chopsticks when you are taking food.

这是用筷子往自己盘子里夹菜时,手里不利落,将菜汤流落在其它菜里或桌子上。这种做法被视为严重失礼,同样是不可取的。

It is seen as disrespectful and undesirable if you let liquids drip into other dishes or on the table from your chopsticks when you are taking food.

将筷子颠倒使用。

Don’t use the reverse ends of chopsticks.

用餐时将筷子颠倒使用,这种做法是非常被人看不起的,正所谓饥不择食,以至于都不顾脸面了,将筷子倒使,这是绝对不可以的。

This means that you are too hungry to pay attention to table manners and thus will be looked down upon.

拿一只筷子去插盘子里的菜品。

Don’t spear food with a chopstick.

在用餐时拿一只筷子去插盘子里的菜品,这一举动,如同当众对人伸出中指,这是对同桌用餐人的一种羞辱。因此是一种极不礼貌的举动。

It is impolite to spear food with a chopstick, since this behavior is like giving someone the middle finger, and is an insult to others at the table.

将筷子插在碗里。

Don’t stick your chopsticks vertically in the bowl.

往往是出于好心帮别人盛饭时,为了方便省事吧一副筷子插在饭中递给对方。会被人视为大不敬,因为为死人上香时才这样做,如果把一副筷子插在饭中,无异是被视同于给死人上香一样,所以说,把筷子插在碗里是决不被接受的。

Usually for convenience, people will pass someone a rice bowl with chopsticks stuck vertically in it. But it is deemed extremely unacceptable since it resembles the ritual of incense-burning to the dead.

将筷子随便交叉放在桌子上。

Don’t cross your chopsticks on the table.

这一点往往不被人们所注意,在用餐时将筷子随便交叉放在桌上。这是不对的,在饭桌上打叉子,是对同桌其他人的全部否定,就如同学生写错作业,被老师在本上打叉子的性质一样,不能被他人接受。除此以外,这种做法也是对自己的不尊敬,因为过去吃官司画供时才打叉子,这也就无疑是在否定自己,这也是不行的。

This taboo is almost always ignored. Crossing chopsticks on dinner table is a denial of all others at table, as the red crosses marked by a teacher on mistakes in homework; at the same time, it is disrespectful to yourself, because in ancient times, people only marked a cross when pleading guilty to all the alleged crimes.

失手将筷子掉落在地上。

Don’t let your chopsticks fall on the ground.

失手将筷子掉落在地上,这是严重失礼的一种表现。因为人们认为,先祖们全部长眠在地下,不应当受到打搅,筷子落地就等于惊动了地下的祖先,这是大不孝,所以这种行为也是不被允许的。但这有破法,一旦筷子落地,就应当赶紧用落地的筷子根据自己所坐的方向,在地上画出十字。其方向为先东西后南北。意思是我不是东西,不该惊动祖先,然后再捡起筷子,嘴里同时说自己该死。

Dropping chopsticks on the ground is very disrespectful. This behavior is thought to be unfilial, since in Chinese people’s belief, deceased ancestors rest underground, and falling chopsticks will disturb them. Fortunately, people can make up for this by crossing the fallen chopsticks on the ground—the first one east-west, the second south-north—meaning that “I’m not behaving myself; I shouldn’t have disturbed the ancestors”, and then picking up chopsticks apologizing “I should be punished by death”.

把筷子放在盘子与桌案之间。

Don’t rest the tips of chopsticks on the plate with their opposite ends on the table.

通常这一条也是不雅的,但现今很多人都触犯了此项习俗。意思是在喝酒或者闲聊时不使用筷子,而把筷子架放于盘碟与桌案之间,其筷尖往往是高高翘起同时指向会餐者,这样是很不礼貌的,有谩骂或指责别人的意思。

When drinking or chatting without using chopsticks, don’t rest the tips of chopsticks on the plate with their opposite ends on the table, because the tips of chopsticks tilt upward and point at others at the table, which again implies condemnation or accusation. This behavior is unsightly, but many people nowadays ignore this rule.

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