Looking for something that isnt here?

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin Wednesday, 1 July 2009 0 comments

Although I have started to make this blog public now, there are still a lot of things that need doing and I realise that for a while, there are many sections that appear in my menus that won't have any content yet.

I assure you I am getting to it, I am happy for people to request anything they cannot find, and I will try to prioritise this information. If you are interested in writing for me, and helping this procedure speed up, then also feel free to get in touch.

Please do feel free to drop me a comment here, or email me at;


If there is anything that you would like to see here that isn't already, or any further information about anything specific please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Hope you are enjoying and learning from what is already here.

Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin

A History of Chinese Chopsticks

Posted by Charlie @ Discovering Mandarin 0 comments


Chopsticks play an important role in Chinese food culture. Chopsticks are called "Kuaizi" in Chinese and were called "Zhu" in ancient times (see the characters above). Chinese people have been using kuaizi as one of the main tableware for more than 3,000 years.

It was recorded in Liji (The Book of Rites) that chopsticks were used in the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC - 1100 BC). It was mentioned in Shiji (the Chinese history book) by Sima Qian (about 145 BC) that Zhou, the last king of the Shang Dynasty (around 1100 BC), used ivory chopsticks. Experts believe the history of wood or bamboo chopsticks can be dated to about 1,000 years earlier than ivory chopsticks. Bronze chopsticks were invented in the Western Zhou Dynasty (1100 BC - 771 BC). Lacquer chopsticks from the Western Han (206 BC - 24 AD) were discovered in Mawangdui, China. Gold and silver chopsticks became popular in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). It was believed that silver chopsticks could detect poisons in food.

There are a few things to avoid when using chopsticks. Chinese people usually don't beat their bowls while eating, since the behaviour used to be practices by beggars. Also don't insert chopsticks in a bowl upright because it is a custom exclusively used in sacrifice.

If you are really interested in chopsticks, you may want to visit the Kuaizi Museum in Shanghai. The museum collected over 1,000 pairs of chopsticks. The oldest one was from the Tang Dynasty.

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