Newbie’s Guide To Eating With Hand While In India
India is street food heaven of the world. But there is a lot of controversies when it comes to dining etiquette. How to set the table, what cutlery should be placed on what side, what cutlery is for what food. Some people even go as far as learning the proper way to dine from professionals. How about people who care less about it?
Eating with your hands in the western diaspora is sometimes tagged as ‘dirty.’ Every day and almost every minute, we do different things with our hands oblivious to where and who they touch. Therefore, you would understand why many cultures are against the ‘eating with your hands’ art.
The same way many cultures and religions are against it, several nations accept and even celebrate it. Some parts of Africa, eat most of their dishes with their hands which is a natural cutlery and it is also very common in India, which is our focus country.
Traveling around India, I have realized that there are techniques to eating with the hand. Well, if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right. Here are some steps you should follow:
1. Wash Your Hands
This is the first thing to do when you are considering eating with your hands. You must make your hands clean, thoroughly. There is a high probability that you would not be eating by yourself, so this is critical.
2. Take a Good Sitting Position
You need to make sure you can move freely. You will have your arm akimbo most of the time and you do not want to hit your dining partner. Some Indian families mark out their sitting positions with chalks to make this process easy.
3. Mix Up Your Food
You may not like it, but it is important. The food is already great, just mix it up so you can get it down at the same time. You will the get the nutrient you want and the food would still taste delicious.
4. Pick a Hand
Now we are at the eating part. The Indian people are skilled at using one hand for everything. The same is applies to eating. It is must to use the right hand, as the left is left for the cleaning job. For my ambidextrous folk, I am sorry, but you need stick with the right.
5. Roll Up
The food is mixed; you have your hand, all you need do is learn the art of rolling the food with your fingers just enough to fit in your mouth conveniently. It does not have to be messy. You know the amount you can eat at a time. So, just roll it into your finger and enjoy your meal.
There you have it. Eating with your hands does not necessarily paint you a disgusting person, it’s just how you decide to do it.