Shiva Ram's Blog

Finger Licking Good… :P

This post is inspired after one of my friend commented on how I eat rice with my hand and not with spoon (Yes, u guessed it right he was north indian! ). He was disgraced by the way I involve all my fingers in the mixing and matching of my food that he had to comment about it. And to his annoyance we were sitting and eating in a hall which was brimming with south indian workers who were enjoying their meal happily with God’s given spoon. 😉

My eating was not that much a disgusting feature as my friend had explained, as it involved only the soiling of upto my fingers. This he had over-exaggerated to the situation of making chapathi atta with the whole hand diving into the sea of Rice and Sambhar that I had to go into self defence. ” What makes you feel so much disgust”, I asked him. And his answer astonished me as much as this semester’s product design grades!

He said ,”How can you involve DIRTY your hand like this for eating”, and that he uses spoon wherever he goes to eat. And to his dismay there was no spoon on the offer in this mess because this was a company mess and they are not used to people asking for spoon.

But the startling part was the DIRTYing of my fingers. My question is how can one DIRTY yourself with food! I mean it is after all the one that we crave for and devour the most. I mean DIRTY not by spilling on yourself of course. But by eating with your food! What part of the food that he eats with hand is different from that is going into his stomach! To my amazement these people eat rice and sambhar with spoon! How do they mix these both then?

Thats the thing! They dont. It is like eating chappathi only. They take sambhar in a spoon and pour it over rice and take the drenched rice without mixing and enjoy their delicious south indian delicacy! If that is the case I wondered whether eating rice and correspondingly drinking sambhar out of a glass will do the same thing for them? 😛

I am not saying that involve your whole fist into eating (and neither was it the way I did it). There does involve table manners and cleanliness there also. At home when I was sick, my mom used to involve her whole fist to mix that Rasam rice because then it used to turn into digestable paste which was useful to me when I was sick. There are people who consider using almost their whole fist while eating and they dont care about what others judge about them. But these remarks on my limited-use of fingers itself caused a frenzy that I was appalled.

Please note that this is not a north indian vs south indian debate. I am not so low to show any linguistic or regionalistic differences. This is because I know a lot of north indians who enjoy their food by hand. But the point is that there are almost very few south indians who would complain against this and that my observation group is mainly formed by my friends who tend to be from the north.

This also brings me to another point. People when they eat at home use their hands or do not always use the spoon to eat. But when they go to some high-end restaurant they start using the fork and knife.This is pretty evident with their difficulty in eating the last chicken piece with their hand when at home they just grab that piece and chew on it to the last piece of flesh.

There are few justifications as to civilization vs autonomous thought.

People think it is a civilized way of doing it as eating like that makes them high-class or decent. Others may find it difficult to have an alter ego to change one’s way of doing things for others. At last they end up getting the chicken piece than the others. I find it sometimes amusing also to watch the former ones trying to eat a dosa with fork. 😀

At last it is each one’s decision to gain what they need. Respect or food. Because each one stands to lose out on the other.

But until then I would like to hold onto this thought only. When I go to KFC and have that Chicken Bucket and when Colonel Harland Sanders’s smiles at me to have a Finger Licking Good time at it, I am not going to stop to think at hypocrites and stop enjoying that last piece of chicken. 😛


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