Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Confessions of a Desi Mem...

I eat with my fingers sitting cross-legged on the floor. I like to mix the food with my own five fingers and feel the food in my hands. And no, I don't think its "yucky". For the record, I intensely dislike eating with forks and knives. Everytime I pick up a fork and put it in my mouth, I have this paranoia that I am going to poke the insides of my mouth or tongue with the sharp edged fork. And for some psychological reason, I hate "cutting" my food with a knife. I've been conditioned by subliminal messages from movies, soaps and media that knives are meant to kill, maim or disfigure. I remember Vivek's remark in some movie, "Sapattula ithanai vanmuraiya?" meaning "Why so much violence in food?". I am not going to pretend that I am at home eating with forks, knives and spoons.

I write this because of a recent remark of a highly successful relative that knowing to eat with forks and knives is "essential to succeeding in your career". I guess he meant well because you can blend well with your international colleagues if you can mimic their culture. I am perfectly ok with westerners eating with forks and with Indians who are comfortable with it. But then, there are some prissy desi gentlemen and women who look down upon those who can't. Its like you've committed some unsophisticated, primitive act if you say, "I eat with my fingers"!

Speaking of which, I can almost feel the peaceful bliss that descends on me when I eat Thayir Sadham (curd rice) and Avakkai pickles with my fingers...Hmm..

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Kay said...

I eat lunch with my office mates daily, though u can argue it my way of life to eat with my hands but they do give a strange look when u kulapify with ur hands.

I dont know how far eating with spoon will take you high up in ur "career" :), but certainly it is good manners not to use ur fingers when people who are not used to it sitting around.

Ofcourse its ur wish to eat however you want to when u r at home but at some places which require certain degree of etiquette i wud certainly recommend eating with spoons as one of'em.

SamY said...

he he ... dyu know how ppl in india counter this?

they say - "kaiyaale yeduthu saptaa dhaan odambula ottum, spoon aale saapta thangaadhu" ;)) ... I think it our reverence for food tantamount to god that its insisted with eat with out hands ... its not an untouchable thing

but it does luk very grossly unsophisticated when u eat with hands when everyone else uses fork/knives. wud u be comfortable with someone eating food from the groud? I suppose not

be a roman when ur in rome. n be urself when ur @ home :)

Zeppelin said...

unfortunately the only thing that comes to my mind is - toilet paper.. some of my friends here in the US hate toiler paper for whatever I have never seen toilet paper in their houses, except when they have guests...

there are these others who are extremely "adaptive" and these look down on the above set of people as if they just committed sacrilege..

its all the same to me..

bottom line : quoting a line from salaam namaste "when in the rome do the romans..." :)

Kishan said...

>>But then, there are some prissy desi gentlemen and women who look down upon those who can't.

Reminded me of many ppl that I closely know.

Prabu Karthik said...

ahaa! supera sonne..

>>I am not going to pretend that I am at home eating with forks, knives and spoons.

Sila jenmangal paper roasta kooda kathi, suthiyal aruvaal laam vechu saapida try pannuraango!

ayudha poojai la irukka vendiya athanai item um plate la irukkum!
adhuvum namba indhiya thirunaatile indha kadhai..
i can understand if some westerner try to do it...

i was looked down upon by a few colleagues when i used to eat with my fingers in my prev. organisation..right here in chennai...

vathakuzhambu saadhadhai edhukku spoon la saapidanum?

ennatha solla!!

Desiguy said...

An american journal has published facts on the amount of anticarcinogens in humans. it says that Indians have more free radical killing anticarcinogens. Did you know what they said. Indians eat their food with hands. Turmeric has an anticarcinogen and it is absorbed between the nails while having their food. I prefer my life than forks. What say??

Prashanth said...

u said it

Subha said...

Kay, I guess its alright to eat with forks etc...if in company. But to eat with spoons when alone or in desi company! No way! :)

If the "everyone else" happen to be people who are alien to our ways, then yeah. Otherwise, its fingers for me!

Subha said...



Chennai la spoon la sapdradhu ellam 200000 much! :)

me the agrees..