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Tea Culture – Etiquette of Knocking Fingers

When you drinking tea during the process when you study Mandarin in China, you may see Chinese people often knock the fingers to express thanks. It is the so-called etiquette of knocking fingers. As a matter of fact, this etiquette originated from the etiquette of kowtow when drinking tea in ancient China. Then, people knock fingers to replace kowtow.

In the past, the etiquette of knocking fingers was very strict. When you learn Chinese in China, teachers may tell you that people should bend the wrist and hold the empty fist and knock the digital joint. As times goes by, it gradually becomes to bend the hand and knock the desk with fingers, expressing the gratitude. Foreign learners who study Chinese in China should know it comes from a story related to Emperor Qianlong, which is very interesting.

The emperor intended to imitate the server to serve the tea. However, the cup belongs to eunuch with him. When you learn Chinese in China, you should know it is impossible for emperor to serve tea for eunuch. In court, the eunuch should kowtow but it would expose the identity. But the smart eunuch knock desk with fingers to replace the kowtow. It is the etiquette of knocking fingers popular today.

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