Why is eating with hands so important?
Every country has its own food traditions, but when it comes to India eating is an important ritual.
Centuries of invasions, conquests, religious beliefs, political changes and social customs gave birth to a large number of food traditions in Hindu culture – with a particular one consisting of eating with your hands.
But what is the reason behind it?
The origins of this tradition comes from the Vedic times, when hands were considered the most valuable organ. In that period citizens used to respect food and believed that eating was a sensory experience – full of emotions.
As an old Indian saying goes: “eating food with your hands feeds not only the body but also the mind and the spirit”
According to Ayurvedic texts, each finger is an extension of the five elements. Through the thumb comes space, with the forefinger comes air, the middle finger is fire, the ring finer is water and the little finger represents earth.
Furthermore, it is believed that eating with your hands helps with digestion – stimulating our stomach juices and enhancing the taste of the food we eat.
Finally, this tradition reflects the cultural identity of India and gives an example of why Indian food is so important in Hindu culture