DON'T stick your chopsticks straight into your rice.

That’s right, Lingling. Don’t stick your chopsticks straight into your rice, Larry. Sure, it’s convenient when you want to take a sip of a frosty, cold one after struggling for half an hour to get tiny chunks of food from your plate, into your mouth, using two sticks held in one hand, but you’re not impressing anyone in a country with a 5,000 year history.

Imagine 1.3 billion Cole Sears from “The Sixth Sense.” The Chinese see death everywhere. Take the number four, si (四). It’s considered bad luck because it sounds like the word si (死), meaning death. Well, the two upright chopsticks in your bowl of rice looks too much like the incense sticks that the Chinese traditionally burn in honor of their deceased loved ones. It’s also way to similar to an offering which is placed on the alter at an ancestral shrine. Sticking chopsticks into rice is like breaking your mother’s back by stepping on a crack. Don’t do it.

Good thing for Larry that Lingling is a cool girl. She could have just let Larry keep on being a “cultural retard.” Good thing for you that Larry and Melvin are here to show you what not to do in China.

Larry and Melvin maybe be “cultural retards,” but they can speak Chinese. Can you? Go to for lots of in-depth resources to help you learn Chinese.

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