Indian born kids will be able to relate well with this question. Have you ever thought why we consume food with bare hands since childhood? Have you ever given a thought over this simple fact connected to our daily lives? But wait, why would you think about it? Every Indian is taught and nurtured with this simple but beneficial habit since birth.
While people all over world consume food with Spoons, Fork or a Knife, we Indians enjoy food with bare hands and sense the satisfaction level of filling out stomachs. An article in the Food Republic highlights how eating with hands is a practice quite prevalent in India, Africa and The Middle East.
In Africa, the same rule as India and two bowls of water are placed in front of you with the dish: one bowl is for washing your hands before the meal and one after it.
In the Middle-East, it’s the same rules except the food is scooped with hands or the bread (mostly pita bread) from the communal plate.
It is also a practice being adopted by a lot of Americans lately. The availability of different cuisines like Indian, Mexican and Middle-Eastern is making it possible for many people to experience and take it up. Eating with hands has been around longer than cutlery. A practice that was adopted by the most civilised of the civilisations like Indus Valley, Greek and the Egyptians, it would hence be incorrect to call it barbaric.
Besides this quote of tradition & custom, there are a lot of other reasons for it that you must know:
Five Fingers connect to Five Natural Elements:
According to Vedas, each of our fingers connects to one of the five natural elements of nature. It is believed that these 5 natural elements work on food, cleansing it of any negative properties and thus helping us eat better and safe.
These are the representations of the elements:
• Thumb: Fire
• Index finger: Air
• Middle finger: Heaven
• Ring finger: Earth
• Little finger: Water
If you talk about Hygiene, your hands are more Hygienic than any other Cutlery:
Contrary to popular belief eating with hands is way more hygienic than with utensils because of the simple reason that you wash your hands multiple times a day while we wash the utensils once a day. We are conscious of the cleanliness of our hands and hence whatever happens our hands will be cleaner at the end of the day.
Hands help manage your portion of food:
Several researchers have claimed that consuming food with hands helps you choose your portion of food and thus helps digest better because you become more aware of the process of eating as you experience it with all your senses.
An added exercise…
Movements of hands and fingers while having food increases the blood circulation in the body since it is sort of a muscle exercise throughout the process. You actually do not need to struggle to work out in a gym; this little exercise gets you greater benefits without sweating out.
Your hands can Rescue you from Type 2 Diabetes!!
A new study published in the journal “Clinical Nutrition” found that people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to be fast eaters that used cutlery to eat, as compared to people without the condition. Eating with forks and spoons correlates with faster eating, which has been linked to blood-sugar imbalances in the body – contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Experiencing the Joy of having food…
The joy & satisfaction of filling your tummies can never be gained with a spoon or a fork. The happiness of mixing Rice & Dhal together and having it is unimaginable.
Can you imagine using a spoon, fork or a knife to pull the meat off your favourite chicken wings? Won’t you rather just pick it up with your bare hands and take a big juicy bite? That’s a simple difference..