Short short with English summary
There is a dish of very Japanese traditional noodles, not flour noodles but buckwheat noodles, often greenish grey noodles called $B!H(BSOBA$B!I(B. From Narita to Helsinki, I always find a tiny portion of $B!H(BSOBA$B!I(B on my tray. It seems $B!H(BSOBA$B!I(B is a part of a standard menu of my in-flight meal. A pair of chopsticks is also prepared. I take the chopsticks and suck in the noodles, slurping without hesitation. I look around carefully how foreign passengers react to this and how do they manage to eat this Japanese traditional dish. Many of them are rather skillfully using the chopsticks, perhaps not so much slurping as I do. And there are some foreigners who try to lift the noodles up on the point of the fork. I wonder if they use their knife and fork for eating $B!H(BSushi, Tempura and Sukiyaki$B!I(B. I imagine they would use their fingers for Sushi. Actually, according to my opinion, that is the right manner to lift Sushi with fingers as for sandwiches, not with chopsticks as today$B!G(Bs young Japanese do.
Chopsticks or knife and fork, both of them are for lifting and carrying food from plate to mouth. The critical moment is when the food is moving in the space. To avoid an accident we should try to keep the distance between the plate and mouth short. The chopsticks occupy one hand, you have another hand free. You can keep your plate at a good position for the safe transportation. For the same solution, you must leave your knife, a fork in a hand, a plate in another hand. Does your etiquette allow this manner?
When a new convenient technique is introduced to our life, the new system of life is called a civilization. And when this new system of life has rooted sufficiently deep, the life system may be entitled as a pattern of culture. To use knifes and forks at family table is a young pattern of culture, from the 18th century. Perhaps not yet really a part of food culture, still in the stage of civilization. Therefore we are not so skillful with knifes and forks. In China, the chopsticks have been at the dinner table since BC 1,500. There are many people neither using chopsticks nor knife and fork. The numbers of them are more than the people who use knife and fork. Most of the people who use chopsticks in the world also use spoons. Among them only Japanese use just chopsticks but do not use spoons.
My plane carries 300 passengers from Narita to Helsinki in 9 1/2 h. Under this 9 1/2 h. the plane is literally a locked room. My observation, association and imagination might be considered as the product of this locked room and these 300 people are sampled at random. But the people who travel by aero plane and enjoy in-flight meal are very limited group in the world.
In the world, we have a lot of prime ministers, presidents and sovereigns, what is their locked room for their fantasies?