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    Why Do Indians Eat With Their Hands?

    Why Do Indians Eat With Their Hands?






    If you visit India or visit an Indian friend’s home, you’d probably be surprised to see people eating with their hand. Being a westerner, it is normal to wonder why they use their hand instead of spoons and forks. Some even find the practice to be annoying, unhygienic, uncultured, uncivilized, and perhaps even gross! But is it really so? Here are some reasons why eating with the hand is a better and safer way to eat. Read on!

    Connecting with Food – We read so much about mindful eating and connecting with the food we eat, but are we really doing so? What better way to connect with the food than to eat with your hand! By doing that, you put the sense of touch to good use, feel the food, and understand its texture. It improves your consciousness of the food and helps you enjoy it completely

    Type of Food – Some foods are best eaten with hands, don’t you agree? How does one eat chicken wings, burger, popcorn, pizza, or chips? With hands, of course! Similarly, certain types of Indian foods such as roti, dosa, idli, pani puri, and pav bhaji cannot be eaten with a spoon or fork.

    Age-old Practice – Indians give a lot of importance to culture and tradition. Eating food using hands has been a practice since vedic days. In fact, hands are believed to be the conduits of five elements. If you visit South India, you will see that food is served on a banana leaf during special occasions. Ideally, people sit on the floor and use their right hand to eat food from the banana leaf. However, the practice of sitting on the floor is diminishing, but eating with hand still prevails and is preferred by everyone.


    Hygiene – Food is not eaten with unwashed hands. It is a common practice to wash hands before touching the food and obviously after eating too. So that makes a person clean his hands at least six times in a day when having food, apart from other times.




    An interesting story is said about a conversation between the then Indian President Dr. Radhakrishnan and the then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. When they both sat down to eat, Churchill reportedly asked the president, “Why are you using your hands? Use spoon and fork, they are more hygienic." To this, Dr. Radhakrishnan reportedly quipped, “Since nobody has used my hand to eat before, my hand is more hygienic than any spoon you can find.” That being said, Indians do use spoons and fork whenever social circumstances or the type of food require them to.

    So now that you know the reasons behind this practice, we know you wouldn’t give a questioning look the next time your Indian friend eats with his hand. If you’d like, do visit an Indian home and experience the warmth and goodness of eating with your hand!



    Why Do Indians Eat With Their Hands? | ifood.tv

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    Dear PJ sir,

    I have met many people even from villages from North of India who can not eat rice with their hands.

    Once I was in Puttaparthi and these group of villagers from a village in Uttar Pradesh were asking for spoons to eat rice.

    I was surprised..cos I thought its only Nortie from towns who cant eat rice with hands.

    I wonder when they can eat Chapati with their hands why cant they eat rice with their hands?

    BTW have you noted most Norties eat Chapati using both hands?

    They hold the Chapati with their left hand and use their right hand to break it and eat.

    But we can actually eat Chapati with right hand alone isnt it...like how we eat a Dosa.
    Last edited by renuka; 07-02-2014 at 03:21 PM.
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  4. #3
    vgane is offline Veteran
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    [QUOTE=renuka;229243]Dear PJ sir,

    I have met many people even from villages from North of India who can not eat rice with their hands.

    Once I was in Puttaparthi and these group of villagers from a village in Uttar Pradesh were asking for spoons to eat rice.

    I was surprised..cos I thought its only Nortie from towns who cant eat rice with hands.

    I wonder when they can eat Chapati with their hands why cant they eat rice with their hands?

    BTW have you noted most Norties eat Chapati using both hands?

    They hold the Chapati with their left hand and use their right hand to break it and eat.

    But we can actually eat Chapati with right hand alone isnt it...like how we eat a Dosa./QUOTE]

    That is typical Punjabi snobbery..I have taken food from M.P/U.P and have seen them using hand while eating rice

    Having said that use of cutlery is more common in North..Even a truck driver will use a spoon /Fork

    South Indian items like Rasam or Sambhar ..it is difficult to enjoy the food without using the hand

    North Indian use Basmati rice...It is good for making a Biryani which can be taken with a spoon

    But try Sambhar with Basmati rice..South Indian rice (Boiled or Unboiled ) is many times better..

    Also we would like to mash the rice &mix with Sambhar or Rasam which is impossible if you use some cutlery

    But what we can avoid is licking our hand/forehand for the spilled Rasam or Sambhar or Payasam

    That's why they say a Punju use a tip of finger while eating, a Maharashtrian uses his fingers...And South Indians enjoy food with fingers, palm and full hand!! LOL!!
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  6. #4
    kunjuppu is offline Veteran
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    [QUOTE=vgane;229250]
    Quote Originally Posted by renuka View Post
    Dear PJ sir,

    I have met many people even from villages from North of India who can not eat rice with their hands.

    Once I was in Puttaparthi and these group of villagers from a village in Uttar Pradesh were asking for spoons to eat rice.

    I was surprised..cos I thought its only Nortie from towns who cant eat rice with hands.

    I wonder when they can eat Chapati with their hands why cant they eat rice with their hands?

    BTW have you noted most Norties eat Chapati using both hands?

    They hold the Chapati with their left hand and use their right hand to break it and eat.

    But we can actually eat Chapati with right hand alone isnt it...like how we eat a Dosa./QUOTE]

    That is typical Punjabi snobbery..I have taken food from M.P/U.P and have seen them using hand while eating rice

    Having said that use of cutlery is more common in North..Even a truck driver will use a spoon /Fork

    South Indian items like Rasam or Sambhar ..it is difficult to enjoy the food without using the hand

    North Indian use Basmati rice...It is good for making a Biryani which can be taken with a spoon

    But try Sambhar with Basmati rice..South Indian rice (Boiled or Unboiled ) is many times better..

    Also we would like to mash the rice &mix with Sambhar or Rasam which is impossible if you use some cutlery

    But what we can avoid is licking our hand/forehand for the spilled Rasam or Sambhar or Payasam

    That's why they say a Punju use a tip of finger while eating, a Maharashtrian uses his fingers...And South Indians enjoy food with fingers, palm and full hand!! LOL!!
    dear vgane,

    the concept of using the left hand to hold the chappathi, i hear, is a british indian army tradition. the whites did not like using their hands to eat. all the liquid stuff like dhall or hard curries could be ladled with a spoon or forked. but the chappathi is a flat bread to be eaten by itself. so, came the tradition, to roll the chappathi and bite off it.

    this was told to me by an college mate, who went to doon school
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    I like what Vgeneji is saying in his post.
    With north indian food even if you have to eat rice you can do it with using tips of your finger. With south Indian food you have to use your hand. some south Indians use a little too much of their palm and lick it afterwards, and that is awkward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by renuka View Post
    Dear PJ sir,

    I have met many people even from villages from North of India who can not eat rice with their hands.

    Once I was in Puttaparthi and these group of villagers from a village in Uttar Pradesh were asking for spoons to eat rice.

    I was surprised..cos I thought its only Nortie from towns who cant eat rice with hands.

    I wonder when they can eat Chapati with their hands why cant they eat rice with their hands?

    BTW have you noted most Norties eat Chapati using both hands?

    They hold the Chapati with their left hand and use their right hand to break it and eat.

    But we can actually eat Chapati with right hand alone isnt it...like how we eat a Dosa.


    renukaji

    certain items of food need using hand!!

    — Obama, speaking to children whose recipes won them spots at the White House Kids' State Dinner on Tuesday, where Michelle Obama told them it was okay to eat with their hands.

    Read more: Barack Obama Can Eat with His Fingers, Says Michelle | TIME.com Barack Obama Can Eat with His Fingers, Says Michelle | TIME.com


    Here is the picture of President Obama eating nan with his hands




    Picture: Google
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    Eating by hand has its different taste. Of course, if we are travelling abroad (specifically US, UK, Europe, Aus & NZ) then we should not have food by hand. There we should follow their culture.

    But how can we have Idli Sambaar or Aalo ke Parathe by spoon & fork? Ohh....ridicules!!!
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    rishikesan is offline Active Member
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    Whatever Is said about using hands ,for and against, I consider using hands which I.s a part of your body is but natural and as Dr. Radha had said No one else had used our hands. Besides we wash our hands and insist on children to do so as well. Above all like a Mother feeding the children and creating a close Bond cannot be compared to any other mode of feeding.while eating with hands , we do realise that we have total link and full coordination with mind, hand and the whole system , wh
    Ich ensures ores red assimilation of food to get into the blood stream to make you healthy body as well as a healthy mind. You can be proud that Tamil Brahmins , by and large use hands , with no shame.Of course some items, we use necessarily Spoons Etc which is also normal.
    Rishikesan
    Bond
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    I have a doubt here..when I eat Thayir Sadam I eat it with a spoon cos its soft and mashed.

    How do TBs eat Thayir Sadam?? With hand or spoon?
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    Dear Renu,

    Visit Sing. Chennai once, please. You must see how the running rasam chAdham and mOr chAdham on banana leaf are eaten by folks,

    with lot of peculiar sounds! I say NO to rasam on banana leaf but get it in a cup and drink. From a plate, I can manage to eat it.

    A special technique is needed!
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