Before I found this local chopsticks made in Kuala Penyu, I thought only Chinese, Japanese and Koreans use chopsticks. Japanese chopsticks are shorter and have pointy head. Korean chopsticks also look like Japanaese chopsticks, but more commonly made of metal? Due to health concern (as wood texture can hide bacteria), most restaurants here have replaced wooden chopsticks with plastic or disposable chopsticks.
The chopsticks are made from stem of sago leaf. They remove the leaf and fold the stem into 2 equal length sticks. Unlike its appearance, it is not that easy to break.
Such chopsticks can help them to pick up the sticky sago (ambuyat), a popular food in Beaufort, Sipitang and Kuala Penyu. You can try them in Sago Festival.
Ya, I know it is not a correct way to hold chopsticks, but it works perfectly for me. I have no problem picking up small peanut and slippery fish ball, though I can’t catch a fly with it. BTW, I always tempt to use chopsticks when eating spaghetti. No kidding oh, chopsticks are so important to Chinese that we even got chopsticks dance, you also can see chopsticks kung fu fighting in the movie, how about the story “breaking a chopstick is easy but breaking a bunch (unity) is not”?
Some Chinese would have told you that it is bad to leave your chopsticks dipped into the rice upright (coz it looks like burning incense for the death). For me, it is bull shit. But you don’t do this lah when you makan (eat) with older people.
What can really annoy me is when people dip and stir their chopsticks in the steamboat to look for food. We call this “washing chopsticks”, very ill-manner. Another very bad habit is putting chopsticks deep in your mouth and suck it. When having dinner with your future parents-in-law, to make yourself looks very kurang-ajar (impolite), you can: (1) make “incense” chopsticks, (2) suck the chopsticks, and (3) wash the chopsticks. Guarantee next time they will not invite you.
Photos taken in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo