Sunday, October 18, 2009

How To Use Chopsticks

If you love Vietnamese food, you’ll need the full experience by eating them with chopsticks. Chopsticks are small tapered sticks used in pairs of equal length as the traditional eating utensils of Vietnam, China, Korea and Japan. Korea is the only one of these chopstick nations that use sleek and thin metal chopsticks. The other three countries use wooden chopsticks that vary in length and thickness.


While Vietnam, China, Japan and Korea had long included chopsticks as part of their traditional eating utensils, the use of chopsticks in a limited sense spread to other Asian countries in recent centuries with the influx of Chinese immigrants in Southeast Asia.


Watching others using chopsticks can make it look so easy, but when you try it, you end up asking for a fork. Here's how to say goodbye to that fork for good and put those chopsticks to work:

1. Pick up the first chopstick with the middle finger and thumb. Stiffen your hand for a firm grip. Have the broad end of the chopstick lay on the part where your thumb and index finger connect. Rest the narrow end on the tip of your ring finger, and hold it in place with the tip of your middle finger. (Hint: try holding it the way you hold a pen to write. It might rest on your ring finger or your middle finger, held in place by your index finger. Place the chopstick then lift your index finger so it can hold the second chopstick)

2. Grip the second chopstick with your index finger. Place your thumb over the second chopstick. Adjust your grip to a more comfortable position. Make sure the narrow tips of the chopsticks are even with each other to help prevent them from crossing or being unable to "pinch" the food.

3. Hold it steady. This chopstick should not move when you attempt to pick up food. Alternatively, hold the first chopstick steady and move the second (top) chopstick by moving the tip of your index finger up and down while the thumb remains relatively steady, acting like a pivot point. The top chopstick remains pressed to the index finger from the tip through the first joint. The movement comes from flexing the joint closest to the knuckle. Straightening your index finger opens the chopsticks and bending it closes them, with perhaps a slight flexing of the thumb to keep the chopsticks lined up with each other. (Note: this alternative is different from the photos in how the top chopstick is held. The movement comes from the top chopstick, not the bottom one, so the top chopstick is held so that it can be moved easily. Use the method that is comfortable for you)

4. Practice opening and closing the chopsticks. Make sure the broad ends of the chopsticks do not make an "X" as this will make it difficult to pick up food.

5. Pick up food at a good angle (try roughly 45 degrees from the plate), slightly lift it up. If it feels unstable, put it down and try again.


There are different etiquettes of using chopsticks. In Vietnam, you should avoid these things below:

1. Avoid sticking your chopsticks into your rice straight down. It's bad manners, because it resembles the incense that family members burn to mourn a dead relative. It also resembles the manner in which rice is symbolically offered to the dead in Vietnam, Japan, Korea and China. When you are finished, you should put the chopsticks over the bowl and lay them flat.

2. It is proper to always use two chopsticks at once, even when using them for stirring.

3. One should not pick up food from the table and place it directly in the mouth. Food must be placed in your own bowl first.

4. Chopsticks should not be placed in the mouth while choosing food.

5. Chopsticks should never be placed in a "V" shape when done eating, it is interpreted as a bad omen.

www.wikihow.com & www.wikipedia.org

118 comments:

  1. I dont know ^^ I dont know how to use it =)) plz tell me, Sk plz :)) lol he he
    This entry is very useful for everybody-who likes asia's foods.( I love asia's foods =)) )

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  2. Ken, I think it's useful for foreigners who love Asian food, too

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  3. AZRANGI blogs, what is kawan ? :)

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  4. Very helpful blog, thank you for sharing this information. I enjoy all Asian culture and trying anything new. I will remember everything you wrote, Thank you again.
    Very good blog =)

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  5. I alwasy use chopsticks to eat MIE AYAM no about Mie Ayam....?!

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  6. Whenever I get the chance to do so I use chopsticks. I plan to be the most highly skilled chopstick user on the east coast. Wish me luck.

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  7. Al`eh, I enjoy Asian cultures like you ;) Thanks for your visiting !

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  8. Yes, Asman Counter NEW, chopsticks are useful in many Asian foods :)

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  9. Drew B. Dope, I always believe you'll be expert of using chopsticks soon ;) Have nice time with chopsticks !

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  10. I've been a chinese all my life, and I still can't hold my chopsticks properly.

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  11. love using chopsticks too for noodles and tepanyaki though I use fingers most of the time as Malays often do..good article..:)

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  12. PeeWee, maybe you live outside China ? :)

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  13. Umihoney, yeah I know Malaysian also use fingers like Indian

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  14. IF the food is large enough I can manage BUT I usually end up asking for a fork LOL! Great writeup and thanks for the etiquette tips! Stopped by via Blogcatalog...

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  15. I needed this blog. I don't want to embarrass myself next week. Thanks for posting.

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  16. Oimdiane, if you eat more Asian food daily, I think you'll not end up asking for a fork soon :D

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  17. GoddessDionna, I hope this can help :)

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  18. Hi, I already know how to use chopstick but all I want to know is how to cook that fried rice? If you don't mind can you please send me a recipe for that one? :-)Email: pagangka@gmail.com thanks very much, have a good one.

    www.pagangka.com

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  19. Kirt, I wish I could show you how to cook fried rice but unfortunately I'm not a cooker :D The images above are from Internet ;)

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  20. Nice post, I'm interest with the etiquette part. I'm also Asian and just know all of that from this post. Thanks for sharing dude.

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  21. Hi,friend!
    It's so nice post!!
    See you.

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  22. Rudy, hope you found many useful things here :)

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  23. Higher, thanks for your visiting, I believe you can use chopsticks as well as I can, you're from Japan I know ;)

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  24. ha, ha I always choose the fork. Otherwise Im not getting satisfied :)

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  25. Mr.Poo, you can try using chopsticks from today ^^

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  26. This is quite a helpful guide. I love noodles but I eat it with a fork. Using chopsticks appears like an art....I always get fascinated when I see somebody using it properly :)

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  27. Meam Wye, hope this post can help ! And you will be able to make others get fascinated when you use chopsticks properly :)

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  28. very interesting post. I love using chopsticks and I love asian food.

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  29. :) LOL
    Being asian, I still can't get the hang of using chopsticks. You are right.. it looks so easy..but it's not. I've been taught to practice to pick up peanuts using chopsticks.. but I still prefer to use fork and spoon.. :)
    Love your article

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  30. scribbler, thanks for visiting :) chopsticks are useful for Asian food ^^

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  31. cat, picking up peanuts using chopsticks is good exercise :) maybe chopsticks are not usually need for food in Malaysia ^^

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  32. I've always wanted to try using chopsticks. Thanks for the info

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  33. wildcatsthree, hope you can do it soon ;)

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  34. I am horrible at using chopsticks, but they are so fun to use. :)

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  35. ladyterri, hope you have many funny things in using chopsticks :D

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  36. Nice Keep $ucces for u n i'll do the best thing for u

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  37. So cool!!! Many people want to use chopsticks! I have mastered this technique thanks to all my Asian friends!!! Great Post!!!

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  38. IYAN1982, thanks for visiting & reading :)

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  39. COCAMIA, it's good if you master the technique, however you have to practice to be able to use chopsticks ;)

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  40. Nice blog. I love Vietnamese food. My daughter spent some time in Viet Nam and picked up on the cuisine. She has made some great dishes since she visited.

    I'm not good with chop sticks, but the food tastes great no matter how you get it into your mouth! :)

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  41. Another Kentucky Innkeeper, thanks for your Vietnamese food loving, eating Vietnamese food with chopsticks is very interesting I believe :D

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  42. Nice blog and very useful post. Thanks for the info :)

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  43. ASWANI, thanks for visiting mine :) Hope to see you soon here ^^

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  44. Hai....your blog is very good..
    please visit my blog at
    http://www.lfdiet.blogspot.com

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  45. Hi Sinh Khuong. I agree that its not so easy to use chopsticks. Thanks for your tips and I will try it later on. :)

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  46. Naz, if you try using chopsticks, I believe you can do it very well :) Thanks for visiting my blog ! ^^

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  47. Thanks for the chopsticks etiquette part. Very helpful. I have heard that it is rude to stick your chopsticks straight down into a bowl of rice, now I now why. :D Thanks!

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  48. Reyjr, thanks for your comments ! Yes, it's very good if you know the chopsticks etiquette, that is part of East Asian cultural features ;)

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  49. Good thing you have posted this one out as I have eaten a lot of oriental cuisine but sad to say, until now i still don't know how to use chopsticks!
    I usually shift to spoon and fork or I'd just stab the food directly with the stick in order to have a bite. cheers

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  50. Jovir, thanks for visiting and comment :) Hope this can help ;)

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  51. Hi,

    That was very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    Ron

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  52. Ron1080, thanks for your comment. Hope it's really informative !! :)

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  53. greg, thanks for your visiting & comment :)

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  54. Thanks for the tips....I never got the hang of chopsticks...I am one of those who asks for a fork... I also never tried any Asian food besides Chinese food...I never even tried sushi that I can remember...

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  55. I love using chopsticks with take-out and sushi but I've never tried to use it with Vietnamese food or Thai food. I'll have to give it a whirl.

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  56. KingsKid777, anyway I think the tips will be able to help you in future when you may eat Asian food :) Remember to come back my blog if you forget anything in tips ^^

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  57. Redhawk, thanks for your comments. I don't know much about Thai food, so I don't know if Thai people usually use chopsticks to eat. With Vietnamese food, you should use chopsticks for usefulness :)

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  58. Wow, that's great. I learned to use chopsticks when my husband took me out to eat and took away the fork. Until now, though, I had no idea that there was an etiquette about it!!

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  59. Kristyn, with etiquette knowledge, you will always make everybody feels happy in Asian feast I think.

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  60. I'm Asian as well but only Filipino-Chinese in Philippines get used to chopstick.

    In my travel in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia I noticed that only Filipinos where get used to spoon and fork because of the influence of the West, United States in particular.

    You have a very nice blog! Keep it up! How I wish I could get a chance to see your country. I have friends there where I have known through the nature of my work as regional support before..When I hear about Vietnam the names that I can remember is Nyunegen and Trong.

    Mine although one of my blogs is focused about my country the concept is more about the nature. I love seing trees, farm, and animals!

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  61. I will be using chopsticks tomorrow; my wife and I are joining another couple for sushi. I'm actually going to foward this blog post to my wife to help her in using chopsticks.

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  62. I usually use choptick too when eat any kind of noodle...
    Its more tasty than if used spoon or fork...
    Haha... didnt know why...

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  63. Crazyhorse, thanks for visiting. Hope can see you in my country soon. I also love nature and will visit your blog ^^

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  64. Redhawk, I'm glad to see you here again, hope your wife will be able to use chopsticks as well as real Asian :)

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  65. Moons1, of course, you will feel more tasty than using spoon or fork for eating any kind of noodle. Chopsticks were born for noodle I guess ;)

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  66. Cool Post!!! I am going to forward this to my friends that struggle with Chopsticks when they eat Dim Sum with me LOL http://icurious.me!!!


    iCurious.me

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  67. icurious, thanks for visiting & comments :) Have a nice Sunday !

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  68. Interesting and informative, great photographs

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  69. A.J.Johnson, thanks for your comment. Hope it can help :)

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  70. Yes, she felt pretty comfortable using chopsticks at the Sushi restaurant that we went to over the weekend, thanks to the video and information in your post.

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  71. Redhawk, thanks for coming back again :)

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  72. I do use chopsticks.^^

    I will go to Vietnam one day, to join one of the programs sponsored by the company I work for. The other employees had their turn already, and all said it is indeed a beautiful place.

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  73. interesting blog. Make me learn about another country. Mmmm....especially how unique asia. Visit my blog, in Indonesia language but u can translate. Link exchange if u don't mind!

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  74. Your blog is very intersting and useful..
    i am indonesian people..
    May i try to taste vietnam food?
    Thanks..

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  75. Sashindoubutsu, thanks for your nice comments :D I hope to be able to see you in Vietnam soon ;)

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  76. goresan lia, thanks for visiting mine :) I hope to visit Indonesia soon if I have a chance ^^

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  77. ryanfiter, of course you can taste Vietnamese food :) Is there any Vietnamese restaurants in Indonesia ? ^^

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  78. Hi!
    I can't use chopsticks..

    Thanks for stopping on my blogcatalogpage:)
    And have a good day..

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  79. Zeugma, it's easy to use chopsticks, try it :) Have a good day, too ^^

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  80. I'll try again however to date..I've always been unsuccessful.

    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

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  81. Dorothy, hope you can use chopsticks soon ;)

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  82. hi
    nice blog, great information
    lets be follower
    http://www.malaysia-scholarship-blog.blogspot.com/
    &
    http://learn-forex-successful-tips.blogspot.com/

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  83. flaky, thanks for your comments :) Have a nice weekend ^^

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  84. Thanks for sharing the blog, i always struggle to have my food using chopsticks, i would follow the way you have made it easy,Thanks a lot buddy. Plz do comment on my blog or have a link exchange here, Travel Destinations Around The World

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  85. Tushar, thanks for visiting my blog :) Hope u can use chopsticks soon !

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  86. Very helpful techniques to use sticks while eating..

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  87. Huzaifa, thanks for your comments :)

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  88. Hi!nice post.very informative.i use chopsticks everyday,but i've seen lots of foreign friends really have a hard time using them.your post will be truly useful!

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  89. June, are you from Japan ? Yeah, of course Japanese use chopsticks as part of traditional eating utensils like Vietnamese :) Thanks for visiting my blog, it's very nice to meet you ^^

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  90. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  91. hi,again.yes,i'm from japan.and it's my real pleasure to meet you,Khuong San!sorry for the mistake.Gomen Nasai!and real appreciate you following my blog.still new at blogging and kinda nervous everytime,haha!!

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  92. June_Butterfly, hi again :) my name is really difficult to write :D Sinh Khuong means SHO KYO (生薑) in Japanese Kanji ^^

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  93. nice post,
    Get complete health care product for men women kids pets at http://www.ayurvedicherbalcure.com

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  94. herbalcures30, thanks for visiting mine :)

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  95. nice,can you help me looking a social community that's most of them are vietnamese.





    http://search05-vixie.blogspot.com/

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  96. Vixie, thanks for your comments, unfortunately I don't know much about social community of Vietnamese :]

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  97. Hello and Greetings to you! I know I sound like an internet noob but I just had the feeling that the internett is so awsome, because it brings people so close together, so I can check out sites like this :D Yes that is some breaking news right ? lol ...

    Anyways Sinh Khuong: Let me ask a rather provocative ( but friendly meant) question:

    Why should I learn to use Chopsticks? I see no advantage over fork&knife !

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  98. Hello World, thanks for your interesting question :D I really love to answer this type of question ^^ Yeah, sometimes chopsticks are not so useful as fork & knife, however advantage is not all in cultural life. Chopsticks are cultural heritage and beauty in traditional eating way of countries in East Asian culture sphere. You can use fork to eat Pho of Vietnam, actually fork cannot be so convenient as chopsticks for eating Pho or some others like that :) So, you can see that type of food is also an important element ;)

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  99. I learned to use chopsticks in Austin, Tx. at a family owned Vietnamese restaurant. I was brought chop sticks with my meal and nothing else. Hunger drove me to knowledge.

    Great blog, hope you keep it up.
    Doug
    http://thewebsells.blogspot.com

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  100. Doug McCoy, thanks so much for your nice comment :)

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  101. Dorman, thanks for visiting my blog ^^

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  102. bohzo (hello)
    I never could learn how to use chopsticks, I will try again.

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  103. Pokagon Potawatomi member, you will be able to do it very well I believe ;)

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  104. You have a wonderful blog with lots and lots of interesting and amazingly exotic photos with so many beautiful spots. Vietnam is a beautiful place. I also watched the video on how to use chopsticks and it was really instructive :) Now I only need some practice! Thank you!

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  105. Ryszard, thanks so much for your comment :) Hope you can use chopsticks very soon ^^

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  106. Lovely. I liked it. Plz do visit me and leave your comment on GooTAR Blog

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  107. GooTAR, thanks much for visiting my blog :)

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  108. beautiful place its like a heaven 1day i will visit vietnam i like ur blog u have make very good blog

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  109. Abdul jaleel n, thank you very much for nice comment :) Hope you will visit my country ^^

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  110. Thanks for the post. I actually want to use chopsticks too.
    http://entertainmentsections.blogspot.com

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  111. Jovelito Avila, thanks for visiting mine ^^ You can use chopsticks well if you try ;)

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  112. Amazing Tutorials!!!! very detailed and useful :))

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