It's the perfect season for eating watermelon again!
Will you knock on the watermelons and try to hear a hollow sound before buying them? In fact, that's what almost every Chinese will do.
This behavior triggers a heated online debate in China, talking about the art of knocking on watermelons. What caused this discussion is a photo posted on the social website:
The photo showed a sign which read "please stop knocking on the watermelons, they will not respond to it!" in an Italian supermarket, asking customers not to knock on the watermelons to judge the ripeness. The sign was stuck in a crate full of watermelons.
The photo was widely shared after the sign was said to aim directly at Chinese customers.
There's no indication that the supermarket was targeting this message at Chinese customers. The sign was written in Italian not Mandarin. But someone took it as an attack on the behavior of "watermelon knocking", which is regarded as an exclusive Chinese heritage, as Chinese often do this to select watermelons.
What do Chinese people say about it? Let's take a look.
However, a quick online search reveals that Chinese people are not alone. Watermelon knocking and listening for a hollow sound is indeed a universal concept. You'll know that by reading the following comments by people over the world:
Even on WikiHow, there is an article about how to select a watermelon, which including the knocking technique.
There are no absolute guarantees about what to do when it comes to choosing fruit. But here are some suggestions on how to pick a perfect watermelon:
– Feel the weight of the melon. The heavier the better;
– Press on the watermelon. It should feel firm and if it springs back, it's ready to eat;
– Look at the markings on the melon. A yellow patch on one end indicates it's ripe.
– Of course you could also knock and "wait for a reply".
Will you knock on the watermelons when picking a perfect one? What else will you use to check if a watermelon is ripe?
西瓜 (xī guā): watermelon
敲 (qiāo): knock
成熟 (chéng shú): ripe
The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer.