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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 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
  2. 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
  3. :P i learned how to use chop sticks when i was 4

    6 years ago
  4. Those are so cute!

    6 years ago
  5. Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!

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

    Oh, the shame!

    6 years ago
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. I only learned how to use chopsticks recently(I’m 14) ^^;; And I’m still not very good at using them………

    6 years ago
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. I’M CAPTAIN G SPARROW ERR BODY JUST FOLLOW ME NOW!!!

    6 years ago
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. that video u gotta admit was pretty awkward….XD

    6 years ago
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. You should try using a chopstick to transfer marbles from one bowl to another. Its tough.

    6 years ago
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. wahahaha! CHEATER! haha!

    6 years ago
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. Haha. I see another potential gif from this episode. xD 1:05- 1:09

    6 years ago
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 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
  39. Visiting from Korea? Don’t you mean Canada? :D

    6 years ago
  40. 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