Just the other day, I was at an antique shop.The owner was hospitable and in a rather chatty mood. He flipped out his tea set, boiled some water and started to serve the guests Chinese tea. When he filled my cup, I automatically tapped my finger lightly, muttering, Thank you, Thank You! Qianlong, an emperor of China's Qing dynasty, visited southern China six times, each time disguised as a commoner. It must be in one of the trips that he poured tea for an accompanying servant. The latter, feeling honoured to be served by an emperor, would according to etiquette, kneel down to express his gratitude. However, he had merely tapped his fingers on the table for fear of giving away the emperor's identity. The bent fingers supposedly signify a bowing servant, one finger representing the head and the others the arms. Light finger tapping has since become a customary way to thank someone who pours you tea especially in southern Chinese culture.