Why You Shouldn't Rub Your Chopsticks Together

If you ever plan on traveling the world, there are a few things you should know when it comes to your host country or region's mealtime manners. Did you know that napkins are not meant to wipe grease and debris off your hands in Morocco? In China, you should never finish all of the food on your plate. In fact, leaving a few morsels behind is a way to tell your host they provided you with plenty to eat. According to The Culinary Travel Guide, it's actually polite to slurp your soup and noodle-based dishes in India, Vietnam, Japan, and Cambodia, as this indicates you're thoroughly enjoying the flavor.

There are a number of habits that are deemed poor dining etiquette in most cultures. For example, you're probably aware that resting your elbows on the table and speaking with your mouth full are general no-nos if you're at home or at a restaurant. There are also some rules when it comes to using certain eating utensils. Let's say you're about to dive into a platter of sushi rolls and an array of other foods that are worthy of chopsticks. Before you take your first bite, whatever you do, make sure you avoid this one seemingly harmless gesture.

It's considered rude and insulting

Imagine hosting a dinner party with a group of friends and they begin openly criticizing the quality of your silverware — either vocally or by wiping away hard water spots. Not very kind, is it? Well, a similar act applies to using chopsticks, whether or not some people realize it. While it may be tempting to remove any splinters from wooden chopsticks, avoid rubbing them together at all costs. Doing so is essentially telling your host that the chopsticks you're about to eat with are cheaply made.

"It's ineffective and insulting to the people hosting you," explains Elizabeth Andoh from A Taste of Culture. "It's probably the single most distressing thing people can do, and is what might cause people to remark in a negative way" (via EatingWell). However, scraping your chopsticks together isn't the only disrespectful table manner. According to Everything Chopsticks, you should also refrain from placing them directly on the table, pointing them at fellow diners, or spearing your food like a fork with them. Eating with chopsticks may take some practice — it's important to understand how to handle them properly.