Chopsticks are shaped pairs of equal length sticks that have been used as the traditional ancient kitchen and eating utensilsin virtually all of East Asia for over six thousand years. Chopsticks were first used by the Chinese and later spread to countries, through cultural influence or through Chinese immigrant communities, such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Nepal as well as in areas of the United States, especially California, New York, Hawaii, and cities in Canada and Australia with Chinese communities. Chopsticks are smoothed and frequently tapered, and are commonly made of bamboo, plastic, wood, or stainless steel. They are less commonly made from gold, silver,porcelain, jade, or ivory. Chopsticks are held in the dominant hand, between the thumb and fingers, and used to pick up pieces of food.