Eating food with the hands is customary in various regions of India, whether it is rice, chapathi, dosai, or idli. The custom of eating rice with your hands is mostly practised in Southern India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Kerala, Karnataka, and some regions of Eastern India. There are a number of explanations for why Tamil Nadu continues to use this method.
First off, it is thought that eating rice with your hands is a long-standing custom that originated in the past. People had to eat with their hands in the past because modern cutlery was not readily available. Over time, this activity became a cultural custom that is still observed in many parts of India.
Second, it is said that eating rice with your hands improves the dining experience. It is stated that touching the meal with your hands will awaken your senses and make you more aware of its texture, flavour, and aroma. Also, using your hands to eat helps you to feel how hot the meal is, which can prevent mouth burn.
Thirdly, using your hands to eat is thought to be more hygienic. By using your hands to eat, you may check that the food is clean and clear of any foreign things. Although rice is a basic food in Tamil Nadu, it is very crucial to remember this when eating it.
Last but not least, eating rice with your hands is thought to provide a number of health advantages. Eating with your hands helps enhance digestion and reduce overeating, according to Ayurveda. This is so that you can control how much food you are eating and stop when you are satisfied when eating with your hands.
Overall, Tamil Nadu’s heritage, culture, and values are strongly ingrained in the habit of eating rice with one’s hands. Outsiders might find it strange, but it plays a significant role in the history and identity of Tamil Nadu.