Chopsticks are an ancient way of eating food, and even though they were developed some 5,000 years ago in China, the tradition is alive and thriving around the modern world. There are many reasons for using chopsticks, but probably they developed because food would be cooked in a large pot, and being metal the pots would stay hot for a long time. Something would be needed to retrieve the food from a safe distance, so using two sticks of wood allows one to get close enough to pluck the food out of the pot without burning themselves.

Although forks, knives and other "piercing" utensils have been introduced to China over the years, there are a few reasons the chopsticks have remained the main way to eat food. Firstly, it is believed that the scholar Confucius (approximately 550 to 480 BCE) taught that since knives were weapons of death, only a "barbarian" would bring one to the table to eat. Likewise, as Buddhism spread through China and the beliefs of nonviolence gained hold, there was little appeal for having utensils that reminded one of weaponry at such an important place as a dinner table.

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