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WTF – Training Chopsticks

June 15, 2011

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Yeah, we know that this isn’t really as weird as our Japanese Instant Boobs. Nothing will ever live up to the awesome bizarreness of those boobs. These chopsticks, though, we found quite befitting for what we’re doing this week. Martina’s parents are visiting us from Canada – Hooray! – and they’re not really skilled in chopstick usage, so these training chopsticks are just the thing for them. And, hey, maybe they’re just the thing for you as well, if you don’t know how to use chopsticks yet. You could win them in our WTF Care Package contest next week. Sweet!

Anyhow, we’re not sure how well these work to begin with. I mean, they work, in that they’ll pick up food for you in a chopstick like manner, but I’m not sure if they’ll do much for teaching you how to use them. You stick your fingers in the holes, and those holes are attached to the chopsticks, so move your fingers and the chopsticks move with you. It doesn’t teach you, though, how to hold the chopstick with your thumb. It’s lazy, no? Maybe it’s like training wheels: they teach you how to ride, sure, but they don’t teach you the most important part of riding: how to balance your bike and not fall on your face and run home crying to your mom about how much you hate biking and never want to bike again. That’s a very important lesson to learn.

The packaging was just ridiculous, though: these chopsticks, supposedly, boost your IQ and EQ? We weren’t even sure what EQ was (we had to Google it. “Emotional Intelligence”. Cool!) and now that we know what it is we’re not even sure how these chopsticks will help you develop emotionally. Anyone trained in child psychology here? We need answers! Martina’s guess is this: if you’re that one kid in kindergarten who can’t use chopsticks to save your life, and everyone teases you for it, these trainers will help teach you, so that you’re not teased anymore, and thus no longer in emotional turmoil. Is that it?

Another question: when do Asian kids begin to learn how to use chopsticks? They’re hard to use, after all! Simon learned in his grade 10 English class when someone did a presentation on multiculturalism (great presentation, by the way!) Martina had a really close Japanese friend as a neighbour, and so Martina learned how to use them when she was really young. But she was taught by her friend. How old was her friend when she learned how to use chopsticks? Miki? Are you reading this? We hope you are reading this. We’re gonna email you just to tell you to read this.

So that’s it for this week. If anyone knows anything about these, please let us know.

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WTF – Training Chopsticks

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  1. I think for me. I learned chopsticks just by holding them. Cuz I watched anime and read alot of manga when i younger like 4. ahahaha I remember trying to copy Bleach’s Karin when she ate ahahahahahah. For me, it wasn’t that hard actually.

    5 years ago
  2. Martina,U’re SO cute when you do a “littlechild-sweet-voice—thing?” =3

    5 years ago
  3. Me too. I still can’t bike, though my balance on my feet is quite good. I learned to use chopsticks in Chinese restaurants. I was probably around 10 or so when I learned, maybe a bit younger.

    6 years ago
  4. I feel the ultimate skill in using chopsticks is being able to cut/split kimchi.  My mom is a master, and I have yet to obtain the same level of skillz :)

    6 years ago
  5. They are wonderful for kids… my almost 5 year old is doing pritty well… no more ” mommy i wanna use chopsticks like you!” all the time… tho i really need to start putting the extra pair in my purse so when we go out she can use them… fyi they work better with the smaller hands… its why you two are having such trouble lol

    6 years ago
  6. I found these chopsticks that you’re talking about at Galleria Supermarket(Korean Grocery Store on Yonge & Steels)! $7.99 for one!

    6 years ago
  7. My daughter’s training chopsticks came today…she loves them.

    6 years ago
  8. Sam

    I’m Chinese and I think I started with chopsticks sometime before preschool when my hand dexterity was decent enough. I started using Japanese-style chopsticks – aka the ones that are tapered at one end – so that what I couldn’t really pick up successfully, I could just spear it and I was good to go XDD I varied later on between the square Chinese-style ones and Japanese ones depending on which were on hand/I thought were prettier hahaha.But tbh I held my chopsticks improperly for quite a few years. I held mine like a pencil/caligraphy brush rather than the proper way of using your thumb as a pivot with 2nd+3rd finger on the top stick, 4th finger supporting the the bottom one. I only forced myself to learn the proper way after a rude little girl (who was quite a few years younger than me) who was visiting our house for dinner with her family pointed at me in the middle of dinner and started laughing about how I was stupid and incapable of holding chopsticks like a normal person. When her parents started laughing as well, needless to say, I was definitely motivated to learn the proper way to hold chopsticks hahaha. I was pissed beyond belief considering she was friends of family friends and we’d only met maybe once before that dinner.

    My older sister on the other hand held her chopsticks perfectly since she was young – she learned from watching a popular shrimp dumpling commercial on chinese tv at our grandma’s as a kid by mimicking the way the the model held and displayed the dumplings LOL.

    6 years ago
  9. Those things are actually made for kids, but they have one like those made for adults…I saw it in our local H-Mart (Hanareum)…my girls and my nephew looooove them!!!!

    6 years ago
  10. Tee hee, you guys are so cute.

    6 years ago
  11. Tee hee, you guys are so cute.

    6 years ago
  12. I learnt how to use chopsticks when I was 5? cos out of curiousity, i picked up peanuts with them. so yeah from then on, i started using them! :D

    6 years ago
  13. Lol i got taught to use chop sticks when i was 4 …..Hey i just asked my Mum :DDD…..it was difficult…..to this day i stick get hit with Chopsticks if i use my left hand >.< Mum and Dad doesnt approve :D im Multi-chop stick :DD ….?
    I must say i have 10 years of experience :DDD so im not that bad :DDD

    6 years ago
  14. MSA

    Oh oh oh!! Here’s one of the children who ran back home to momma and swore never to touch a bike again with a ten-foot pole, after her dad eliminated the not-so-helpful training wheels and pushed her down a (not so steep) slope!

    And I remain fully commited to that oath. I keep my promises, oh yeah.

    – As a side note, I pretty much taught myself how to eat with chopsticks after my mom bought our first three pairs last year. I cooked nothing but kinda-asian stuff, and refused to use anything except my chopsticks to eat it. It turns out Hunger is a great teacher.

    6 years ago
  15. ^^ This is so splendid! I remember making my Dad some of these for my Parents celebration of their 30th Weddingday, visiting a sushi-restaurant.

    6 years ago
  16. I remember when I started using chopsticks! Most parents begin teaching when the child is also learning how to feed themselves.. I learned when I was about 5 or 6, when my family and I would go to a Chinese restaurant and there are plenty of chopsticks and time to practice while waiting for the food. Initially the chopsticks were too long for my hands so I used them as stabbing devices. And I tried copying how my parents and brother would hold them in their hands. Initially I didn’t get the chopsticks held in the correct position (since my hand coordination wasn’t that great yet) but with practice it got easier and my position is now the correct position. 

    As a kid, I practiced picking up all sorts of things (like tofu, peanuts, mushrooms cut in half are surprisingly one of the most difficult things to pick up) at the dinner table and I think that’s the reason why as children we pick up using chopsticks fairly quickly. And most of my family used chopsticks anyways, so as a kid I would really felt left out if I was the only one using a spoon. :P

    6 years ago
  17. I never thought of looking on amazon (don’t know why i’m surprised…amazon has everything!). Looking right now for a set for my daughter.

    6 years ago
  18. I don’t remember when I was skilled enough to use chopsticks perfectly. Maybe 5 or even younger. My mom said I would not be getting any girlfriend if I can’t use chopsticks properly but I still don’t have girlfriend even after mastering chopsticks. LOL

    I am not sure if that is how you use that chopstick. It looks really awkward! Maybe thumb and middle finger on the top and ring finger on the bottom loop?

    EQ part is one of those weird things salesmen put up to make things more expensive and make you buy them more… It’s just something you hear about all the time but don’t believe in.

    6 years ago
  19. :P i learned how to use chop sticks when i was 4

    6 years ago
  20. Those are so cute!

    6 years ago
  21. Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!

    6 years ago
  22. I’m an 18 year old Asian girl and I can’t use chopsticks at all.

    Oh, the shame!

    6 years ago
  23. Omo!!!! I had training chopsticks when I was a kid!!! Except they didn’t look like that… They weren’t attached like a hinge, but one had a loop for the ring finger and the other had a small groove for the index finger to rest on. Just thought I’d share that with u… ^_^

    6 years ago
  24. I remember seeing those in the korean supermarket here in Hawaii. I was going to buy it but then changed my mind the moment I seen the silver chopsticks that you see the koreans in dramas use. awesome. lol

    6 years ago
  25. I started to use chopsticks when I was 7 or 8 and yes, I am Asian (Vietnamese). I only used chopsticks when I was at home because I was still young and practicing. The beginning of the learning process was very difficult however, through observations (my parents), I got the hang of it. (P.S. Directions on chopstick wrappers you get from Asian restaurants are confusing. xD) These training chopsticks are definitely for non-Asian foreigners. That’s my story HUZZZAH! 

    6 years ago
  26. I learned when i was about 5-6. Since my parents ate with chopsticks, my brother and I thought it would be really cool to learn.

    6 years ago
  27. I only learned how to use chopsticks recently(I’m 14) ^^;; And I’m still not very good at using them………

    6 years ago
  28. My aunt made me use these once, they are so uncomfortable! I don’t know if they helped. I learned to use chopsticks at around when I was 17, but I don’t think I mastered it quite yet.

    6 years ago
  29. 3 ish for me?  One thing I noticed (from the very small sample size of Chinese people in Vancouver), is that Asian families all love to say that THEIR family was the one that knows how to hold chopsticks properly and that if anyone tells you that their way was the way it’s been passed down by China then they’re WRONG! XD

    To each their own.  

    6 years ago
  30. And… There’re a very famous song about chopsticks in Korea, Dance with DJ.DOC. It’s said…Can we eat because of using chopsticks well? I can eat well even I cannot use chopsticks well.
    http://iblood.blog.me/100123148837

    6 years ago
  31. Simon, you should use wooden chopsticks. It is easier than using metallic chopsticks!!
    And…. Did you know there are chopsticks combined spoon so that you don’t pack both of chopstick and spoon for lunch?

    6 years ago
  32. I’M CAPTAIN G SPARROW ERR BODY JUST FOLLOW ME NOW!!!

    6 years ago
  33. I learnt how to use chopsticks at the age of 7, though I carried it wrong. It was around the age 10 when I had mastered the proper way.

    6 years ago
  34. They sell them in the place I go to every week in the china town near where I live. My friend and I were really confuddled about all of this too! I’m actually going to buy some for the sake of it… xD
    They apparently learn as a toddler… not sure though since I’m not asian.
    I learnt when I was 13 in the middle of chinese class while using pencils as chopsticks. I was meant to be studying the words I didn’t knowfor the test the next day. I somehow passed. :3

    6 years ago
  35. that video u gotta admit was pretty awkward….XD

    6 years ago
  36. It’s genetics. All Asian babies are born carrying chopsticks in their hands. Hahaha…just joking! I’ve been using chopsticks all my life. It’s like the same concept for American children to learn how to use forks and spoons. There are smaller training chopsticks available, I know, in China and I’m pretty sure there are available in Korea and Japan also. The smaller chopsticks make it easier for the smaller hands of children to hold.

    6 years ago
  37. Hmm, I’m pretty sure I started learning to eat with chopsticks around the same time I started eating with a fork.  It went somewhere along the lines of, “Here is food, here is utensil. Watch, copy, perfect.”  I was adopted from Korea into a US military family so I don’t know what the typical experience is.  When I lived in Japan, most of the class used chopsticks proficiently during lunch… but then there were a few kids who I saw just pick things up with their fingers.  So, I think it’s just a case of parenting.  I’ve heard some stories of kids being drilled on their chopstick skills.  Perhaps I need to question my parents’ method… I actually have trouble eating some foods with forks/spoons/sporks instead of chopsticks :p

    6 years ago
  38. I watched a documentary about kindergartens in China, Japan and S.Korea awhile back. The children in Japan and S.Korea use … well an oversized type of chopstick (they look stubby and fat around). This isn’t to say all are taught this way, but in this documentary they used a heavy type so they could get the children’s hands used to it.
    My sister is going to S.Korea to visit her husband (I’m so jealous as I’m the kpop and just about everything culture wise S.Korea fan). Do you know where she could find these? We tried teaching her kids how to use chopsticks and that didn’t go so well. I don’t even use them properly but I do use them efficiently =) I only just found your site and your YT, wanted to say that I love your humor and enjoy the cuteness. Thanks!

    6 years ago
  39. You should try using a chopstick to transfer marbles from one bowl to another. Its tough.

    6 years ago
  40. omo..I want these for my 3 yo.  She sometimes can get chopsticks right, but then gets frustrated and uses one in each hand. 
    I learned as a kid from one of our Japanese exchange students. She took a piece of paper and folded it a certain way, then rubberbanded it to a pair of regular chopsticks.  It made them like they were spring loaded. I wish I knew how to do it; they were so much fun to play with.  I’ve just started trying to use chopsticks more again..but forks are just so darn convenient ( and so much more common in central Wisconsin).

    6 years ago
  41. My dad taught me to use chopsticks when I was about ten, but then I’m not Asian and no one in my family is so… XD I think I need a pair of these for my mum though, she’s the only one in my family who can’t use chopsticks.

    6 years ago
  42. Korean kids just know…how to use chopsticks. It’s like the ability to pee and poo. It is like breathing. Ahh I remember when I first saw those straight metal beauties… I was 2 yrs old. They were calling for my fingers and I just knew that I had to use them to pick up food… All Koreans have their chopstick stories.. My friend started using them with his toes first..

    6 years ago
  43. I don’t know how old I was..
    I think it was like, well, ur old enough to eat by yourself
    here, chopsticks, have fun with it and you will have to learn it, 
    cuz if you don’t, u can’t eat! :D

    6 years ago
  44. As long as I can remember I have been using chopsticks. Since me and my brothers were little kids we could already use them because my Dad wants his children to have at least some kind of connection or something to our Chinese blood. (My Dad’s half-chinese.) He made us practice whenever we eat chichacorn/cornick, a snack made of fried? corn and a special product of the Ilocos region, northern area of the Philippines. He wouldn’t let us eat it if we don’t use chopsticks, and he knows that we really love to eat chichacorn.

    6 years ago
  45. I use chopstiks but I think I don’t do it right ^^ but still I’m good at this ^^
    Simon why are you so cheater! ^^

    6 years ago
  46. I was probably handed a pair of chopsticks the minute I came outta my mama, it’s used more than my household’s forks. However, that doesn’t mean I’m good at using them- I remember being scolded as kid when I held my chopsticks with a pinky sticking out. -I often resorted to using it as a shovel and stabbing device instead (not as sophisticated, but it gets the job done).

    6 years ago
  47. I think asian parents just give kids chopsticks and say “use it”. I don’t know. My cousin’s children are pretty proficient at chopsticks already since kindergarten… 

    Simon and Martina! you guys can really put lots of asian people to shame! Both of you handle chopsticks really well and in the proper way, whereas there are quite a lot of people who can’t be bothered to hold them properly and think that so long as they can pick up stuff it’s fine D: i used to handle them wrongly without knowing too X: but i’ve managed to “re-train” my fingers (:

    6 years ago
    • I sometimes feel like we learned how to use them TOO formally.  We’ve seen people hold chopsticks in bizarre ways, with their pinky fingers and it looks like they’re stabbing their food, and we think that our ways might be antiquated…

      6 years ago
      • yup. Most people think that so long as they can get food from plate to mouth with that, fine. But I think it’s a skill to be proud of :) If people from another culture/country can do things fine and properly, why should we have excuses to not do so?…personal opinion there :)

        (ps. my brother uses chopsticks in a bizarre way…but somehow i feel that taking food isn’t as efficient as the proper way..hmmm)Anyways, BE PROUD of your skills! I think little asian kids will be impressed that non-asians can use chopsticks well :D hahahaha

        6 years ago
  48. wahahaha! CHEATER! haha!

    6 years ago
  49. After a total of 7 years of psychology studies, I don’t think there is any way that chopsticks, will improve your EQ or IQ, particularly the EQ. EQ is about your ability to socialise, empathise with people and interact with them in a socially appropriate way. The only thing about these chopsticks is that they will teach you how to eat food so you don’t make a fool out of yourself when eating out. :)
    Now how do chopsticks teach you empathy with people? Or how do they improve your logical thinking and understanding of the world.
    Maybe I could do research on that for my DPhil to see if Martina’s assumption is correct. XD
     
    This is a piece of strange marketing. Unless someone proves me wrong. XD

    6 years ago
  50. this is quite awesome. i dont know how to use chopsticks so i have to do improvised training chopsticks. just tie the sticks together at one end and slip in a piece of folder paper between them then booyah! hehehe.. i need to find this a local kmart.

    6 years ago
  51. Haha. I see another potential gif from this episode. xD 1:05- 1:09

    6 years ago
  52. I’ve seen similar ones here as well. Though none with those finger thingies, lol. Oh wait, here’s a picture.
    Hmm, I don’t remember when I started. D: 5 or 6, probably.

    6 years ago
  53. Are there other types of chopstick training wheels? like a pink one?

    6 years ago
    • Yes, in fact: the winner of the WTF Care Package for next week’s contest will get the pink version of these :D

      6 years ago
  54. I need to get these for my grandmother especially because the first time I saw them I thought of her. Although she’s getting better, it’s a continuous joke between us about how she can’t use chopsticks properly.

    6 years ago
  55. Visiting from Korea? Don’t you mean Canada? :D

    6 years ago
  56. i taught myself to use chopsticks when i was around 5 i believe? i don’t use it the proper way though so it’s not as efficient.

    6 years ago