Is it okay to eat with your fingers?
Eating in Asia - how to eat with your hands on your Asia tour!
The art of eating has continued to evolve over the centuries, from the use of clams, stones, and animal horns as eating tools to modern day spoons, knives, and forks. Despite these constant changes, people have always been blessed with natural helpers for eating: their hands. Find out how to eat with your hands during your Asia trip!
In times before the cutlery
Before the spread of modern cutlery, many cultures used their hands to eat. This method goes back to Ayurvedic teachings and is still widely used today in many parts of Asia.
There is an old saying in Vedic wisdom: eating with your hands nourishes not only the body, but also the mind and soul
Asia will not only inspire you with its fascinating cultural treasures and warm residents, its incredible architecture, the wonderful mountains, breathtaking beaches and unique wildlife. Eating out in Asia is also a highlight of your trip!
To discover the true essence of Asian cuisine, it is not enough to just try Goi Cuon or Massaman Curry. The ritual of eating itself can turn into an extraordinarily prepared, sensual experience full of scents and exotic tastes.
An original, flavourful affair
The interplay of cuisine and culture creates timeless culinary customs, such as the many layers of maki sushi. When you watch some locals eat with your hands during your trip to Asia, you may at first be amazed. But if you take a closer look, you will recognize an ancient tradition that is filled with originality, respect and soul.
The people of Asia believe that the five fingers of man correspond to the five elements of nature (earth, air, fire, water and spirit). That is why eating in Asia transfers these life energies to the food with hands.
Touching your food not only helps you feel its texture and temperature. Asians agree that eating so much more consciously also helps digestion.
Don't be afraid to try something new and leave your comfort zone! Even if it may be strange at first: Eating by hand offers an incomparable fulfillment that not only nourishes your body, but also your soul!
Eating by hand offers an incomparable fulfillment that nourishes not only your body but also your soul!
Imagine in your mind's eye a quiet boat trip on a traditional houseboat along the backwaters of Kerala or the unique view of the beautiful sunset of Bali against the fantastic backdrop of the ocean.
A bowl of freshly cooked coconut stew is served with some flat bread. Just a touch of the aromatic spices in the warm Asian air will make you crazy about the delicious meal.
Now imagine enjoying this treat with your fingers. The warmth of your fingertips on your lips, unlike the cold metal of a fork on your tongue, will instantly awaken a deep connection with your source.
At the end of your meal, all your senses will be indulged in satisfaction and you will have a wonderful memory of an extraordinary experience. Most importantly, you will be successfully immersed in ancient Asian culture.
Eating in Asia: Pay attention to customs
When you go on your trip to Asia, keep in mind that new dishes mean new customs.
Nobody wants to hurt feelings by making a social gaffe. Cultural differences - including table etiquette - make up mankind.
How do I eat properly with my hands? Our tips!
- In countries where eating with your hands is considered polite, it is essential to wash your hands before eating.
- Always use your right hand to eat. The left one is used to pass the dishes around.
- Use your fingers, and only these. Eating with the palm of your hand is considered bad behavior.
- The best way to eat with your fingers is when you imagine your hand is a tiny digger, like at a construction site.
- Use your thumb as a fork and slide the food onto your index and middle fingers. Remember - practice makes perfect!
- Vegetarians and meat eaters can dine together. However, the mixing of cutlery is not welcomed.
- Touching dishes with fingers or cutlery that has already touched your mouth is considered impolite.
- In some Asian countries, such as India, licking your fingers silently after eating is considered a sign of appreciation.
Eating with chopsticks
If eating with your hands is not to your taste in Asia, don't worry: chopsticks are common in many Asian countries.
Whether you're trying sweet and sour fish at a traditional market or enjoying warm beef pho from the Mekong Delta, table etiquette is just as important with chopsticks as it is when eating by hand.
How do I eat properly with chopsticks? Our tips!
- While etiquette varies from country to country, there are two basic rules: Never cross your chopsticks or hold them up.
- Always place the chopsticks on the holder provided or on the upper edge of your plate or bowl.
- Keeping chopsticks in your mouth for too long, chewing them, or playing with them is considered impolite.
- In addition, you should only use the chopsticks to put food from the platter onto your own plate. But not to eat straight from the communal dishes.
If you feel uncomfortable with your hands or chopsticks while eating, you can always ask for a spoon or fork. But don't be afraid to try new things and make mistakes. It is so fun to discover the eating habits of a foreign culture!
The poetry of eating with your fingers
In the modern age of cutlery, your trip to Asia is the perfect opportunity to honor a tradition that is a true symbol of community, identity and hospitality.
Eating with your hands is a great way to get in touch with the poetic, intimate table customs of Asia. You might even get a taste for it!
Discover and enjoy the texture and composition of every single bite by touch. This is not an act of barbarism, but a wonderful art - and a sign of wisdom! Explore Asia with us individually and according to your wishes - we will be happy to advise you! Or you can be inspired by our culinary tours, maybe your personal gourmet trip will be included!
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