On this page you will be able to find interesting new facts
about chopsticks, discuss the utensils you use at home,find
some great websites, learn about why chopsticks are used in
China and how to use them respectfully.


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It is believed that chopsticks were invented in China and have been around for more than 5000 years.

Chopsticks are called Kuai-Zi which means 'bamboo objects for eating quickly'. They are normally made from bamboo as bamboo is easy to get and heat resistance but they can also be made from other materials.

Chopsticks are not the only utensils used when eating Chinese food. Spoons are also used for meals like soups.

Confucius didn't like the use of knives at the table as he felt they were associated with violence.


Here is an instructional video about how to hold and use chopsticks.
http://video.about.com/chinesefood/How-to-Use-Chopsticks.htm
(Remember practice makes perfects and try not to let your chopsticks cross)


Find an answer to a question below.
  • Are there any tricks for effectively using chopsticks
  • What shouldn't you do with chopsticks and why?
  • Why shouldn't you use your chopsticks to point at people?
  • Why can't you leave your chopsticks standing up in a bowl?
Websites to help (please add any good ones you find)
http://www.robsworld.com/chopsticks.html
http://www.warriortours.com/intro/cusine_culture.htm

晚餐 = Dinner
Welcome to the family meal. This is where you will
learn how a traditional family sits down to eat their
evening meal and the importance of sharing.

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Eating together around the family table is an important part of the day for Chinese families. The food is placed in the middle of the table for everyone to share.

Generally the food eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner is the same and most families have three meals a day.

The most senior person should be the first to start eating, as age is respected in China. So the oldest starts eating first and then the next oldest and so on. The children eat last and are expected to eat a pit from every dish so they have a balanced meal.

Traditional Chinese people don't have a drink with dinner but they do drink a lot of tea throughout the day. Desserts are not eaten but they have sweet foods for special occasions.

Find an answer to a question below and post your response (or ask your own question)
* In China why is it important to sit around a circle table at dinner time?
* Why is it important that the oldest person in the family eats first?
* Are there any important things you should/shouldn't do at a Chinese family meal?

Here are some useful links for you to use. Please add any useful ones you find aswell.
http://www.orientalfood.com/culture/etiquette/custom.shtml
http://factsanddetails.com/china.php?itemid=112&catid=4&subcatid=19
月饼 = Mooncakes
Yum - I love Mooncakes. The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (Moon Festival) is held on the 15th day of the tenth month. On this page you will learn all about this festival and how families celebrate.
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The shape of the moon is the symbol for family togetherness. It is the tume for family reunions.
Families enjoy having a parties and sharing mooncakes. They also send mooncakes to absent relations.
Mooncakes can be sweet or savoury. Sweet mooncakes can have fillings such as red bean paste, melon seeds and sesame seeds. The savoury mooncakes have meat stuffings. (Yum)

Find an answer to a question below and post your response (or ask your own question)
  • Can you find a differing legend about the Moon Festival?
  • How is sharing demonstrated in the Moon Festival?
  • What would the Moon Festival mean to the Chinese people?

Here are some useful links for you to use. Please add any great ones that you find.

http://www.familyculture.com/holidays/mooncake.htm
http://www.gio.gov.tw/info/festival_c/moon_e/html/eat.htm
http://www.chinatownology.com/mooncakes.html

幸运饼干 = Fortune Cookies
Have you every wondered where fortune cookies came from? Would you like to know how to make them? Keep reading and all your questions will be answered.

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The idea of fortune cookies, which first originated in America, is thought to have been based on Mooncakes.
In China in the 14th century, messages were hidden inside of mooncakes. They were secret ways of encouraging the Chinese people to rebel agaisnt the Mongol rulers.
There are different stories about who first put messages in cookies in America. One story tells that during the Gold Rush real mooncakes were not available. So the Chinese railway builders began to bake their own cookies to share with each other during the Moon Festival.

Fortune Cookie Recipe
Ingredients
  • One packet of gingernuts biscuits
  • Paper and pen for messages
  • Red cellophane and ribbon for parcelling up

Method
  1. Soften the biscuits briefly in the microwave/oven on a paper towel
  2. When soft, immediately put into small party pan/ cake tins so that the bottoms of the biscuits become reounded like the moon
  3. Put a dab of yellow butter icing inside
  4. When the biscuits have cooled down, fold the paper message so it will fit inside the gingernut moons. Stick it to the icing before it has set.
  5. Wrap each fortune cookie in red cellophane and tie it with a ribbon.
  6. There can be eaten after dinner or just before bedtime after viewing the moon.

Find an answer to a question below and post your response (or ask your own question).
  • Can you find an account of who out the first messages in the fortune cookies?
  • What is the proper way of recieving a fortune cookie?

Here are some useful WebPages for you to use. Please any sites your find.
http://www.123chinesenewyear.com/fortune-cookies/
http://www.fortunecookie.demon.co.uk/fhistory.html
http://www.fancyfortunecookies.com/Articles.asp?ID=148