Dining etiquette in India is quite different than Western countries. Here it is considered proper Indian etiquette to eat with your hands; this is how the majority of the Indian people eat. It is tradition and part of the Indian culture; it is also an accepted part of Indian etiquette. Although, people mostly prefer cutlery while dining in the 5 star hotels, but it is good to fit in with the culture of the place wherever you are.
Since India is a vast country, there are many different ways to consume food in various parts of the country. However, irrespective of that, there are few basic etiquette which is followed by every Indian. We bring you a list of the same for better understanding:
- One is expected to wash hand before and after the meal, irrespective of whether the food was consumed with hand or using cutlery.
- One must wait until everyone is settled down. It is considered rude to start off with the food until everyone is served.
- One must consume food with right hand. The left hand is not used for eating, (even if one is left-handed,) this is considered offensive and unclean.
- It is necessary to share food with anyone who wants it; however it should not be shared from one’s plate. Anything coming with contact with your saliva, or anything that is on your plate is considered “jootha” (contaminated) in Indian culture, hence is considered offensive.
- One must ask for any food item if he/she wants it again, but should not reach out directly or point at the food.
- The host must offer the food multiple times to the guest. It might look a bit persuasive, but its rude not to do the same.
- It is not mandatory to consume each of the items that is prepared, but one should finish all that is thee on the plate. Food is considered sacred in India, and thus should not be wasted.
- One should not play with the food. Eating in a medium pace is considered to be the correct way of consuming the food.
- In South India, the meal is generally served on banana leaves; it is customary that one folds the leaf from the top at the end of the meal. Folding from bottom indicates bad relationship with the host.
- One should not leave the dining table before the host or the eldest person of the house. However, in some parts of India, one can leave to wash off the hands, but he/she must return to the dining table after the same.