Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Use your hands!


Hands are an undervalued part of the body because we always talk about eyes, nose, mouth, ears, brain & heart as the most important parts of the body. Use your hands properly! This article is not about erotica. If you are disappointed, you may leave now. :-)

I will describe you why we should love our hands & how to use hands for a better world. As strange it may sound, you don't have to take this very seriously but take a minute to read if you want to save the world just by using your hands.

Hands & Food

When I first came to France, I was shocked ( yes, I am always shocked) thoroughly, let's say appalled by the view of many plastic forks, spoons & knives that are used to eat food in University canteens & cafés. There were metal ones too, but I am talking about the plastic ones here. We could take as much as utensils for our use & later on we throw them into the bins. I did not see anyone re-using those, except me who kept a plastic fork & a spoon in my bag after using them once thinking about a picnic in the park later.

I don't like the view of people using these plastic cutlery in an abundant manner for their convenience.
Why can't they just use their hands to eat like many Asians do ( Asia means South Asia) ?
All my life, I ate with my hands except during the visits to highly sophisticated restaurants in Colombo where we have to imitate English manners & go home starved after playing with the cutlery.

That's where the value of hands should be highlighted.

We are born with perfect hands with fingers. Chop them off, if you don't need them for a basic survival.

Now, some who are reading my article would say :

Disgusting, to eat with hands using fingers !

I remind kindly those very people who criticise seriously when they see some Asians eating with fingers, to think about other places where they nobly put the fingers! 
God or whoever created the human anatomy gave us ten fingers in our hands, not only for the purpose of grasping, holding or shaking hands but also to eat , to survive by eating.
Instead, people use their hands for totally useless things.
Men & women, think about the weird instances where you use hands!

I used those intimate details just to prove that you should not be ashamed to eat with your hands in public because they are many shameful things in this world than that.

I faced this problem in French tables where they decorate with millions of cutlery in order, where we have to select the correct item to eat as if we will have to face digestion problems if not properly selected. I am not criticising their culture or table manners but I was annoyed when some people told me that I am not civilized, that eating with fingers is a clear sign of uncivilized manners. «  Il faut évoluer » You should evolve is the phrase I heard. Should I care ? I never loose appetite even in most difficult times in life ! We have evolved too much, that is why are close to the apocalypse.

Why you should be using hands?

When we eat with fingers, there is a different flavour to food.
If you eat using those cutlery all your life, you would not understand what I say. But ask Asians, they would describe you. Rice mixed with curries & succulent chicken can only be enjoyed by eating with hand. I feel empty every time I eat with those metals or plastic & I leave the table dissatisfied. If I get a fingerbowl in restaurants, or a find a washroom nearby, I am not afraid to eat with hands even if thousands look at me with surprising eyes, or disgusting eyes because I am aware I do no harm to anyone, no harm to nature because I don't leave behind anything to recycle

Some people think :

Yeah everything would be recycled so we don't have to worry, but they are not aware that recycling would also cost a lot & if they avoided the process of recycling they could have saved  more & more money & energy.

Some like to complain  & here are some funny answers.

Eating with hands is annoying, I spill everywhere : Unless you are paralysed, with a bit of practice you will manage, Dear

How can I cut meat ?  I hope you still have your set of teeth.

After eating with hands, I have to wash hands : Oh, I thought being civilised is not being lazy ! So, go & wash your hands. No water, seriously ? Use Coca cola.

My hands smell : No one is coming  to kiss your hands today !

Is it hygienic ? There are millions in Africa, Middle East & Asia, over populated, I wish they would die in mass just because of this unchanging habit !

If you can eat Pizza, Hamburger, Chips & bread with your hands, I am confused, why can't you eat the other food?

Now, my innocent thoughts are not enough to convince many civilised people. Let me give you an example from a research because something needs to be proved scientifically in the labs & would be approved by a Jury to put into practice in western society because what can a Sri Lankan villager know about protecting the environment!

Here is something I found : Apparently eating with hands is good for health.

In the Vedic tradition, eating with ones hands is tied to the practice of hand mudras – or meditative gestures using the hands and other body parts. The hands are honored as a beautiful ‘organ of action.’ A famous Vedic sloka or verse suggests that divinity rests within human effort – brought about through the hands.
When we touch our food before putting it into our mouths the millions of nerve endings on the tips of our fingers are getting a temperature and texture reading that is immediately sent to the stomach – like a warning signal. Ayurvedic wisdom teaches that our bodies can respond to this food-touch by producing the needed enzymes and digestive juices before the food even meets our lips – and that the fingers themselves even contain enzymes which start the digestive process upon first touch.

I don't think I have to rewrite this in a different way. My father was always right that he never eats with utensils. The only time I saw him using them was when his hands were injured. He is so healthy, never had digestive problems.

A lot of Sri Lankans make a huge effort to eat with these western invented utensils in Five Star hotels that they end up having an orchestra there ! We laughed our head off listening to the troubles that friends faced eating with forks & knives ; like flying chicken, lobsters untouched, rice spilled etc. 

If we can make a trend of eating with hands, I think we would be reducing a lot of plastic.

If you girls disagree to eat with your hands, at least carry a metal knife, fork & spoon in your beautiful handbags, not to kill anyone but to eat! 
Guys, if you can carry a huge iphone in the pockets, find a way to carry the cutlery, my head is too small to think a solution for guys. They are so cool so they would easily eat with hands. Flexible, I would say!

It is just a way of life, a little sacrifice for your health, for all of us & for the environment.

By Jahooli Devi

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