The chopsticks are the main implements to be found on the Chinese dinner table. Chopsticks may be bade of any of the following materials: bamboo, wood, gold, silver, ivory, or plastic, and they may be either round or square. Some chopsticks are engraved or decorated with colored pictures or calligraphy. Ordinary chopsticks used in Chinese home are of wood or bamboo; those for banquets are often ivory, whereas gold belonged only to the royalty and aristocracy in times past.
Some people say the Chinese choose Chopsticks as their tableware rather a knife and fork since Chinese people, under the cultivation of Confucianism, have traditionally considered knives and forks as bearing a type of violence. On the other hand, chopsticks reflect gentleness and benevolence, the main moral teachings of Confucianism. Besides, Chinese food simply seems to taste better when eaten with chopsticks. Some foreigners may find it an awkward experience using chopsticks to eat a meal. Fortunately, learning to eat with chopsticks is not difficult, and with a little practice, anyone can use chopsticks to enjoy Chinese food.
Incidentally, using chopsticks also has a great deal in common with the wielding of a brush when writing Chinese characters.
Those who write skillfully with the brush, some scholars have observed, are invariably those who handle the chopsticks correctly. One holds the writing brush basically the same way as one would hold the moving chopsticks and, while writing, one must maintain coordination in shoulder, arm, wrist, and finger movements in order to write well. Westerners are often impressed with the skill of the Chinese hand sculptures with such fine skills. Could not this also be attributed, at least partly, to the constant use of chopsticks?