Why Indians eat with there hands?

The kind of food you eat decides the kind of utensils you use. There is no one size fits all. If it is a burger or a sandwich, you better eat it with bare hands :). Imagine sitting in McDonalds joint and eating every fry with fork and trying to cut the burger with a knife.

Fork usage primarily came from Italy where eating hot pasta with bare hands was a problem. During the Renaissance, Italian culture became the in trend thing and the table manners of eating with fork & knife spread elsewhere. Fork & knife, make real sense when you have bulk meat that you want to cut. Also, when the foodstuffs are little more homogenized, these devices work better.

Indian foods are so diverse in form and structure that no group of metallic devices would really do the complete job. You need to use all the dexterity of your fingers to manage the food. It is not without reason that we are given opposing thumbs 😉 [The papad in the center of the plate has to be broken (like Tortilla chips) and fork would not work in this case.]


Here is Dosa – one of the southern delicacies. It is 10 times thinner than a pancake and has to be eaten with sauces of different densities. You need a superhuman effort to use a fork to eat this.

vada pav

Many of the Indian foods come stuffed. Here is Vada pav (a sort of burger equivalent). Would you eat a burger without bare hands?

Origin from Balaji Viswanathan

Some history about this issue:

Former Indian President Dr. Radhakrishnan and the British Prime MinisterChurchill met over dinner.

As per the Indian custom, the President washed his hands well before eating. While Churchill was busy with spoon and fork, Dr.Radhakrishnan was eating with his fingers.

Churchill asked the President to use the spoon and fork for better hygiene.

The great scholar quipped,  “Unlike spoons No one else could use my fingers so I consider it most hygienic”.

Origin from Manohar Mano
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