Why People Eat With Their Hands In South India

Who knew eating food with hands is not only a tradition, but also followed for some important reasons. Check out why.

By: Ajanta Sen
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India has been divided into four different regions - East, West, North and South. Each region has its own etiquette, customs, lifestyle and food habits.

Apart from these differences, their eating habits are also totally different. However, with the advancement of technology and modern conceptions, people are changing their mindsets and adopting the new customs and etiquette.

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Despite this global advancement, the people of South India have deeply entrenched habits and customs. They don't care or mind whether or not the North Indians have switched to spoons and forks. They still prefer to eat with their hands.

This eating habit of South Indians has been mocked by people all over India and other countries as well; however, the article is an eye-opener for those who do not know the actual story behind it.

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The following are some of the best reasons why the people of South India love to eat with hands:

For Better Hygiene

Eating with your hands (of course clean hands) gives assurance of better hygiene levels as compared to eating with a spoon in any restaurant.

Touch Sensation Makes The Food More Enjoyable

You can enjoy your food to the fullest only if at least 4 of your sense organs work together. Whenever a cuisine is served, 3 of your sense organs start working - your eyes (which beholds the food), your nose (by which you get the aroma of the food), your tongue (which gives you the taste of the food) and the last sense organ is your hand which gives you the sense of touching the food. Thus, the combination of all these sense organs makes your food tastier and enjoyable.

Blood Circulation Improves

One of the best benefits of eating food with your hands and 5 fingers is that they will get stimulated and as a result, it will boost your blood circulation.

Matter of Pride

In each and every country there is a unique style of eating. Some employ forks, spoons, knives, while others like to eat food using chopsticks; however, in some regions, people prefer to eat with their bare hands. So, you must be proud of the etiquette adopted in your motherland. Have you ever seen an American gorging on chips and sandwiches with a knife and fork, NO!!

Love For Your Culture

The best thing about eating with hands is that it shows your love and respect for your own etiquettes and culture.

Safe Eating

When you use knife and fork, you become extra-cautious while eating. You may be a master at eating with those utensils; however, you never know when you can meet an accident. On the other hand, when you eat with your hands, you can be rest assured of a safe and tension-free eating session.

Five Fingers Means Five Elements of Nature

The universe is formed of five elements of nature. Your system represents these natural elements with the help of your five fingers - Fire (thumb), Air (index finger), Space (middle finger), Earth (ring finger) and Water (little finger). When you eat with your hands, all the five fingers, which means five powers, get connected to your food.

Laugh It Off

Have you ever tried to savour a "dosa" (a South Indian dish) with a knife, fork or a spoon? Well, it will take you ages to gain mastery over it. Huh, just kidding, don't even think of trying it though!

Forget the South Indians, just think of eating a gooey sandwich or burger with a spoon. Anyone will give you kudos if you can successfully do it! Jokes apart, use your hands people, they aren't that bad!

Read more about: food, culture, tradition, world
Story first published: Monday, December 26, 2016, 14:36 [IST]
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