Growing up in a Chinese household, learning to use chopsticks is equivalent to learning to walk and talk. When you are old enough to eat adult food and do not require being fed anymore, you will need to learn to use this utensil and typically, your elders will teach you the proper way of holding the chopsticks. The technique will be reinforced several times in your childhood and one day, you will bequeath this wisdom to the next generation.Although you may have seen variant forms of holding chopsticks—and each form may have been sufficient in doing the job—there is actually one de facto form which is acknowledged as the correct form by all. Other versions are improper and those that use different versions will be the first to admit that it is not the correct way to hold them.
From my observations, you can tell a person’s character by how he/she holds their chopsticks—but this only applies to people who grew up using chopsticks, and not foreigners who learnt to use them later on in life.
I find that people who hold their chopsticks incorrectly are often stubborn people. The art of chopstick holding is not rocket science, but it is taught early in age and can be adjusted any time. The majority of people whom I am acquainted to who hold their chopsticks in an unorthodox way are capable of holding them the proper way as well, but those that refuse to correct themselves to the proper form (even though they’ve had a lifetime to change) are often stubborn by nature. These people are often uncompromising people in their ideals and habits in all factions of life. Euphemistically, you can say that they have strong ideals and refuse to appease their critics.
If this sounds like nonsense, just take a family member for example and compare their chopstick holding habits to their character. More often than not, this assessment is quite accurate. I find it to be a useful tool to learn more about someone you are not closely acquainted to.