Superstition – Chinese

I have heard many different types of folklore regarding chopsticks.  My Chinese roommate, Rachel, shared with me a version I had never encountered before.  In Chinese culture, it is said that God is present in chopsticks.  Therefore, it is considered highly disrespectful to do such a thing as drop or damage your chopstick in any which way.

Considering how essential chopsticks are to many Asian cultures—Korean, Chinese, Japanese—such a superstition would make sense.  Chopsticks are the main utensil when it comes to these types of Asian cuisine.  In my own experience, I had heard Japanese folklore in that it is disrespectful and, in fact, malicious and ill-wishing to point one’s chopsticks at someone across the table—either at the direct opposite side of the table, from where you are sitting, or at any place setting at the table at all.  To aim pointed objects such as chopsticks at someone, whether intentionally or unintentionally, connotes either killing or shooting and is highly looked down upon in Japanese culture.

With a continent such as Asia, with a history so rich in fighting and which bears the roots of many of the world’s different forms of martial arts, it is no wonder that such a superstition would even exist.  For the Chinese, with religion as an important element of their culture, it is also not much of a surprise that their culture would connote such sanctity to such an important element of their daily lives: chopsticks.