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Is it pretentious to use chopsticks?


Sep 2, 2009
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Question for members, is using chopsticks when eating at an East Asian restaurant pretentious?

Assuming you're not East Asian, and the restaurant isn't in East Asia, obviously.
Only if you can eat with them while they are stuck up your nose...
I got some smirks when I used a fork at a Vietnamese restaurant, from white people.

So it's not pretentious to use chopsticks, but it is pretentious to act like your better than those who don't.
Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.

I've also heard pretension described as "profundity that's unearned."

I think most people who use chopsticks just like it.
That's like asking if it's pretentious to use a salad fork to eat a salad. It's an appropriate eating utensil.
I hate using chopsticks. I have this stabbing weapon that is much more effective. Its a fork.
Its funny you brought this up because China is starting to tell Chinese people to use a knife and fork.

With 1.4 billion people ploughing through 80 billion pairs of throwaway chopsticks each year, China has admitted its forests can no longer provide enough cutlery for its dinner tables.

"We must change our consumption habits and encourage people to carry their own tableware," said Bo Guangxin, the chairman of Jilin Forestry Industry Group, to his fellow delegates at the National People's Congress.

Pointing out that only 4,000 chopsticks can be carved from a 20-year-old tree, he even went so far as to suggest that restaurants offered metal knives and forks instead.

It was Da Yu, the founder of the Xia dynasty, who is said to have first used two sticks to eat his food in roughly 2100 BC.

It was an invention born of urgency. In his rush to reach a flood zone, Da Yu did not want to wait for his meat in his wok to cool, instead seizing a pair of twigs and wolfing down his meal.

Chopsticks quickly became popular around Asia. However Chinese chopsticks are longer than their Korean and Japanese counterparts in order to reach the communal dishes in the centre of the table. Koreans also often use metal chopsticks because of their love of barbecue.

The fork, meanwhile, is said to have been invented by the Romans, but did not become common in northern Europe until the 18th century.

Catherine de Medici is said to have taken the fork with her from Florence to France in the 16th century, when she married Henri II, along with many of her chefs, a moment that many Italians claim as the genesis of French cuisine.

Today, however, China is chopping down 20 million mature trees a year to feed its disposable chopstick habit, according to Mr Bo.

Nor can China find enough wood in its own forests. China is now the world's largest importer of wood and even imports chopsticks from America, where a company in Georgia realised that the state's native gum wood would be perfectly suited to make the utensil.

A previous estimate from China's state forestry administration, based on statistics from 2004 to 2009, put the yearly total at 57 billion disposable chopsticks, a much lower sum.
Then again, as the comedian Jerry Seinfeld once joked, parting the Chinese from their chopsticks is no mean feat.

“They’re hanging in there with the chopsticks, aren’t they? You know they’ve seen the fork. They’re staying with the sticks.

“I don’t know how they missed it. Chinese farmer gets up, works in the field with a shovel all day. Shovel. Spoon. Come on. You’re not plowing 40 acres with a couple of pool cues!”
From The Telegraph
I'm asian and I don't use those to eat, but I don't think it's pretentious if you want to use one.
Spoon and fork is more effective, but if you want some culture and to immerse in a different way of doing things then do it. Protentious be damned.
When I eat noodles, I need chopsticks. I can't use forks anymore, it just feels wrong.
Only if you can eat with them while they are stuck up your nose...

they're great for spearing those pesky snots that you just can't seem to dislodge...

and then you can take the stick and bend it slightly to flick it away when no one is looking and hope that it won't land in someone's fried rice... :wow:

that's what I call a snotsticker... :doh:
I don't get why it's pretentious.

But I use a fork because I can't get a handle on eating with chopsticks and just make myself look like an idiot.
It's only pretentious if you're not Asian. I attempted to use them a couple times when I was eating with my girl who actually is Japanese but eventually just said "**** it, I'm not good at this."
forks? Chopsticks?

The hell, who uses utensils to eat still? I go primitive, just my hands, sometimes I dive in face first
It's only pretentious if you're not Asian. I attempted to use them a couple times when I was eating with my girl who actually is Japanese but eventually just said "**** it, I'm not good at this."

No it isn't.
Learn to use chopsticks to impress your Asian girlfriend's parents. :oldrazz:
Just use your hands and attack your dinner like a wild animal. And even if you make grunting sounds, it's not pretentious in the least.
Using chopsticks is a skill I envy and wouldnt consider pretentious if used in an Asian restaurant. It would be extremely pretentious to laugh at a person that doesnt know how to use them.

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