July 24, 2012

"I heard some Indian people eat with their hands still?"

Oprah offends.
"Using our hands to eat is a well-established tradition and a fact none of us are ashamed of," blogged Rituparna Chatterjee of the CNN-IBN news channel...
ADDED: More here: The video is hilarious. Oprah is sitting down to what the Indian family obviously think of as a beautiful feast, and Oprah hardly attempts to conceal her puzzlement and near disgust. "Is there anything here that you recognize," the man asked her, perhaps to give her a prompt to say something nice. He has to give another prompt: "Okra?" Okra... Oprah... maybe he meant to nudge her toward a Lettermanesque joke.

The man shows Oprah how to eat properly using one hand, noting that they don't use the other hand (without being indelicate enough to specify the reason), and Oprah tries it, then says she's going to use 2 hands or they'll be there all night. Which is ridiculous because: 1. After insinuating her distaste for their eating with their hands, she proceeds to do something that must look gross to them, and 2. She's fat and they are thin, so maybe there's a good diet tip there in a technique that slows you down.

43 comments:

jr565 said...

I figure Oprah would get points from crack for not accepting their slovenly eating habits in the name of neg age acceptance of culture. Seriously iNdians, is using utensils really that hard.

DADvocate said...

Ha! Looks like we're more open to diversity in rural Kentucky than Oprah is. My daughter has friends whose father is from India. A few years ago, I went to pick her up and, although my daughter was 11 or 12 at the time, her friends' Indian grandmother had my daughter sitting next to her and was feeding her some traditional Indian dish that had lots of saffron in it.

My daughter loved the food and the experience. I'm glad my kids get this natural exposure to other cultures rather than someone's idea or propaganda of what Indians are like.

BigFire said...

Hum. If you watch any of the travel show that showcases Indian food, you'll know right away that eating with your hands is a proper way of eating. More civilized. For example, the recent Anthony Bourdain No Reservation episode Penang (http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/anthony-bourdain/episodes/penang) have a very lengthy section about Indian food. The whole episode is mouth watering delicious.

raf said...

I confess. I ate two sandwiches and some chips without using utensils. I am so embarassed.

raf said...

ribs, drumsticks, wings, fajitas, tacos....

It all depends on time & place.

wyo sis said...

Poor Oprah, once people quit worshipping and start to laugh it's all downhill. Critical mass has been reached.

Coldstream said...

I saw someone on the street eating M&M's with a spoon.

Mark said...

Don't get me started on how good Ethiopian food is, and yes, it comes without any utensil other than the bread.

Oh Lord I am hungry.

Harsh Pencil said...

How do you eat with your hands still? MIne are always moving.

chickelit said...

I hope she's all caught up on Lincoln Bedroom sleepovers: August, September, October, November, December, January 2013.

Only six months left.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

What raf and (especially) Mark said.

I would really like to see Oprah sit down to a good Ethiopian meal. With knife and fork. But, honestly, Mexican and Central American cuisine is a bit nearer home for her, and I can't think she believes that people cut up tacos with utensils. Or burgers, or pastrami on rye, or bagels. Or corn on the cob. What, those savages actually pick up food in their hands and eat it?

jimbino said...

It's not the eating-with-hands that's so offensive, but the forced sharing with the unwashed who eat with their hands.

I can hardly imagine shaking hands with the typical doctor or nurse in America, knowing that many don't wash their hands. Can you imagine your exposure to iatrogenic diseases if you were to eat with them Indian-style?

AndyN said...

When you're an adoring fan of somebody who even eats ice cream cones with a spoon, it only makes sense that there's no kind of food you can accept people eating with their hands.

Klatuu said...

God Lord, don't tell Oprah that there are lots of people in the world who wipe their fannies wit their hands! Hey, maybe Oprah will start writing & publishing a newspaper so all those needy people can use that instead? Win-win!!

Don M said...

You should only wipe your fannie with your left hand, and eat with only your right. Left hand below the waist, right hand above. Left shoe on first, right shoe on second.

We have lots of soldiers who have been exposed to other cultures due to military service. Perhaps Oprah can find one of her employees with that kind of experience? She does hire people with diverse experience, right?

Carnifex said...

But...but...but...the Ugly American only refers to white people! People of color could never be jingoistic, or dare I say, RACISTS. Okay, I guess I did dare.

Chip Ahoy said...

Chip stop picking at your food ha ha ha ha ha

Chip stop picking at your food ha ha ha ha ha

Chip stop picking at your food ha ha ha ha ha

Chip stop picking at your food ha ha ha ha ha

This was a very mean way to treat a child, in my opinion, when I was given only chopsticks.

David said...

Oprah ought to try it.

The one hand tied behind your back diet.

Chip Ahoy said...

Cheese Its, pizza, hot dog, hamburger, pretzels, bread stick, toast, gyros pita, sack of fries, Jaffa cakes.

Cheetos are best eaten with a fork. A pickle fork.

Did I ever show you my page on HobNobs? People land there two ways. Half the people are asking about the lion on the Lyle's Golden Syrup label and I carefully and sympathetically explain on that page the biblical Samson story about the lion and the bees.

On the label the bees look like flies. And the lion looks like it's sleeping. When it should be torn asunder. Because Samson ripped the lion to pieces.

Lacuna all over the place in the biblical story, indicative of heavy editing. Samson is born, named, and in the next paragraph off to get a wife.

It's a strange little page but it gets views from all over every day.

SH said...

step 1 is realizing all that free speech and open mindedness stuff was bullshit.

step 2 is realizing all that multicultural / internationalism stuff is bullshit. :) They say those things but the only 'foreign' people and cultures the left understands are lefties from other countries and cultures... I know she isn't the poster child for the left; but she did go to Rev. Wright's 'church'.. and you'll see what I mean in other examples as they come up.

Leo said...

If their hands are still how do they pick up the food?

papertiger said...

If this were a youtube video, Harpo's crack legal team would have had the post spiked already.

DEEBEE said...

No hope for the tin man, with all her millions even Oprah could not buy a brain.

37affd9e-e92e-11e0-8515-000bcdca4d7a said...

We should clarify if and how often Indians eat with their hands. Can we ask Elizabeth Warren? I understand she is Indian.

**swordfishh** said...

Oprah.. First show us how you Americans manage to eat your Burgers, Pizzas, Tacos and Hot Dogs, bread sticks, pretzels and bagels with forks and spoons... And then you can teach Indians how to eat their food with cutlery

pm317 said...

The fat lady is afraid to use her hand. She fears she will eat even more -- one small fork versus one giant hand.

FleetUSA said...

Exhibition #1: The Ugly American

pm317 said...

@jimbino: It's not the eating-with-hands that's so offensive, but the forced sharing with the unwashed who eat with their hands.

--------------

There is no forced sharing of any kind. No common plates or serving dishes that everybody dips into. At least that is the rule in majority Hindu households. Each has their own plate and they must wash their hands when done. Touching anything with your eaten hand other than the food on your plate is not kosher. There are strict rules most of it hygiene driven about eating off other people's plates and all -- not done.

This reminds me of my first month abroad, late 80s, living in Amsterdam. My husband took me to an Indian restaurant and the first thing he said was not to get food all over my hand (it is always the right hand and using both hands is not kosher). There is no water to wash it here. :)

Christopher in MA said...

It's a good thing Oprah is a smart, accomplished businesswoman, unlike the drunken frat boy George Bush, or people might laugh at her.

edutcher said...

It must be from having listened to Rev Wright.

The ignorance is catching.

Mian said...

Oprah who?

Pogo said...

India is obviously full of racists.

Fred said...

From the size of Oprah's ass, I would say she just eats.

A lot.

Rick67 said...

Yup. 3 weeks in Kerala, South India - almost never used a utensil. Perfectly normal.

Compared to some cultures, Americans use their fingers/hands a lot. Asians will more frequently use chopticks to hold something we would hold with our fingers.

Roger J. said...

I spent a year in Saudi Arabia. Part of that year involved eating at "Kapsas" where the food is cooked in a communal pot and everyone eats with their (right) hand. As for ethiopian food, at least you have injerra bread to use as a utensil. When in Rome....
Oprah is, well, Oprah.

Hagar said...

When I first came to this country, I had a serious problem with fried chicken and corn on the cob.

Shanna said...

Compared to some cultures, Americans use their fingers/hands a lot.

There was actually an interesting thread on Ace a while back about travel guide to the US...they mentioned that we are kind of unusual in that we switch between using hands and using utensils. Apparently most countries are more either/or.

Also, thanks to Mark, I now really, really want some ethiopian food!

EMD said...

Coldstream wins.

EMD said...

Has anyone ever watched a frenchman eat a chicken?

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreams said...

Remember the Seinfeld episode that had one of the characters eating a snicker bar with a knife and fork.

The Crack Emcee said...

jr565,

I figure Oprah would get points from crack for not accepting their slovenly eating habits in the name of neg age acceptance of culture.

"Onion and garlic agitates the mind,..."

That's right up there with India's disgusting levels of poverty, the use of child labor, and - because they're so fucking "spiritual" - astrology in politics.

And let's not forget, Oprah is the woman who kept Obama up late most evenings, having long talks about who-knows-what, so we can gather he agrees with her about many things - like he's "The One" and, of course, "The Secret" (which Oprah sold on two separate shows as "important") before she sold Obama to us.

I've been writing about India for years now, but I'm sure jr565 would be a much better guide, considering I never get anything right,...

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