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Ask Pingping and Jules--Chopsticks
    2008-11-04 17:40:22     CRIENGLISH.com
Why do the Chinese people greet each other by asking "have you eaten"? How do the Chinese people celebrate wedding ceremonies? What's the history and customs behind the Spring Festival and tomb sweeping day?

Curious about the habits, culture and customs of Chinese people? Ask Pingping and Jules about life in China. If you have any questions about Chinese culture, send an e-mail to pingpingandjules@cri.com.cn. You can also contact us at the Chinese learning section of www.crienglish.com. That's crienglish.com. China Radio International, your bridge to China and the world.

Jules: Hi, da4jia1 hao3. Nice to be here! I'm Jules. My Chinese name is 朱丽安.

Pingping: Hi, da4jia1 hao3. I'm Pingping. Welcome to Ask Pingping and Jules.

Jules: This is a brand new program, aimed at introducing Chinese culture to you.

Pingping: Right. And we also make comparisons between the culture differences. You know that Jules, the most important thing to me is eating. In Chinese we say: 民以食为天 literally it means people regard food as their prime want.

Jules: 民以食为天 Min2 yi3 shi2 wei2 tian1. Right. But mastering this phrase is just a warm-up for today's program. We are to talk about the dining habits of the Chinese and their way of dining.

Pingping: Right. The other day I saw a foreign guy inserting his chopsticks into a bowl of rice while awaiting his favorite dish to be served.

Jules: That's normal to me. What's the problem?

Pingping: Please remember that it's a taboo to put your chopsticks into the rice or some other staple food. The ancient Chinese put incense into the incense burner when they offered sacrifice to the ancestors. 

Jules: Oh, I see. And they say it's better not to beat the bowl with chopsticks, right?

Pingping: Yes. Because in the past, the Chinese beggars did like this to attract other people attention and let them give some food in charity.

Jules: Ok. Anything else?

Pingping: Right. It's impolite to poke the top of food with chopsticks. And please don't move your chopsticks freely when you are not sure about which dish you want to eat.

Jules: If you are curious about the habits, culture, customs of the Chinese people, you can ask Pingping and Jules at the Chinese learning section of crienglish.com. See you next time, Pingping.

Pingping: See you.

(Many thanks to Duggy Day for production and audio-editing.)

Ask Pingping and Jules--lucky numbers in China  (Please click on to listen)

 
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