A friend commented, while at dinner – ‘You get very stiff when you eat.. don’t worry(on the bemused look on the other companions face and mine) – you’ll get less stiff in 10-15 years when you get used to eating..ha ha)’. Well, it is true that I get very stiff when eating..in public. Well, maybe not ‘very’ stiff..but well..that’s beside the point..
Food and eating habits can be really interesting and the lack of awareness and sensitivity can cost us a lot more than dirty looks as well – so I have learnt. For instance, the region I come from – we eat our rice using our hands(yes! for all the chopstick and spoon users – thats true! :)) Now, lets imagine I’ve been playing soccer from when I was 5 years old vs a friend who is learning at 19. What are the chances that at 21- he would be a better soccer player? Well, it is similar odds with eating habits as well..
Now, its not like my mother didn’t warn me about this. Lets face it – we realize the depth of our parents constant badgering about this and that as we move out. Well, if you haven’t – I tell you – its about time! As always, I had the – ‘don’t worry! I only do this at home..’. Yeah right! Another learning that I am coming to terms with is that, while it is true that good manners begin at home, bad manners do – as well. (Home – being close circle – family, friends etc)
Anyway, there is no end to cultural differences. What is right in the east is often unthinkable in the west etc. But, it does help to know where we want to go.. because disaster at the dinner table is disaster all around..
And well.. If the price to look decent(till I actually get used to being a classy eater) is being stiff and conscious for a few years, sounds like a fair bargain!
PS: I am an insensitive brute – when it comes to environments etc and also tend to be very clumsy. So, the situation may not be all that commonplace.. but who knows? :D