Welcome back, Everyone!
First of all, we would like to express our apologies for not uploading article last week. For some reasons and occasions, we should take a break for a while. But don’t worry, today Hagamu is back to bring you fun facts and knowledge about Korean culture!
Everyone, have you ever tried to eat with chopsticks? I bet our readers who came from East Asia won’t have any difficulties to eat with that long utensils. But for those of readers who use fork and spoon will have much struggle even just to take a small amount of food by using chopsticks. Personally, using chopsticks need much effort and hard work to take every bites of food that will come to mouth. You have to synchronize your focus, your fingers, and the chopsticks as well to take the food into your mouth. You need to concentrate in order to keep the food stay between the chopsticks. You also need to train your fingers to not be stiff when holding the chopsticks. It is because when you are stiff, you won’t be able to hold the chopsticks well. After that, you will end up getting stress and lose your appetite.
Chopsticks are the main utensils for East Asian people to eat food. They use it for almost all occasions. Even they are better in using chopsticks than the forks. But of you look carefully, there is a major different between chopsticks that is used by Korean from the chopsticks used by Chinese or Japanese. Koreans are using metal chopsticks with silver or gold color. It is also has flat tip, square in shape, and the size is shorter than Chinese’s and a little bit longer than Japanese’s. It means that the length of the chopsticks are in between two of them.
Korean chopsticks which is also called ‘cheot-karak’ was made of steel. But in the past, royal family used chopsticks which was made of brass, silver, or gold for special occasions to show the prosperity in the society. There is also another reason why they use metal chopsticks until now. Back to the past, it is believed that the origin of metal chopsticks came from the reign of Baekje. That time, assassination of royal family by enemies happened often. The assassins played really soft in harming the royal families. So, in order to prevent danger, they used metal chopsticks to identify hint of poison in the food. It is said that silver can easily detect poison in the food and the color will change as soon as it get contacted with the poisonous substance in the food. As time goes by, the use of metal chopsticks were no longer for royal family, but also for common people to show their loyalty to the king.
Besides the fact that Korean chopsticks were made of steel and to detect the existence of poison in the food, there is another unique fact about that. The metal chopsticks are used until now because it’s simple and can be used again and again. Different from the wooden one which are really fragile and easily broken, the metal chopsticks are solid. The flat tip of the chopsticks are made to take and hold the food easily in a small amount. Koreans also don’t need wooden one especially to eat rice because they use large metal spoon for that.
Koreans place the chopsticks and metal spoon on the right side the rice bowl. It is placed side by side, metal spoon on the left while metal chopsticks one the right. Metal chopsticks are used to take kimchi, steamed-vegetables, egg, meat, and another side dishes (banchan). If you see closer, the metal chopsticks have beautiful design on the half-upper-part. It is made to show that the beauty of Korean culture is reflected even in a small piece of the chopsticks.
So, after read this, do you want to challenge yourself on using Korean metal chopsticks? Don’t be afraid, trust us that using Korean metal chopsticks will help you to be more focus J
That’s all for today’s article!
Have a nice day, everyone! We’ll be back soon!