Appreciating your meal starts with a touch

Eating with hands is commonplace — and even good etiquette — in some countries and cultures. Take a look into the reasons behind this interesting practice.

In countries like India, Malaysia, and Indonesia, it is not uncommon to see people forgoing utensils at meals and eating with their hands.

While the sight of it may be perplexing at first to those who are not familiar with such a tradition, the custom of eating with one’s hands actually has roots in culture and spirituality.

In India, the practice stems from the belief that each finger is an extension of one of the five elements: fire (Agni), air (Vayu), space (Akash), earth (Prithvi), and water (Jala).

It is customary that when eating with hands, all five fingers have to be touching. This, it is said, creates an amalgamation of all the elements and imbues the food with cosmic energy1. This is said to create a physical, emotional and spiritual connection between you and the food!

When eating with your hands, you are much more present in the moment. There is careful attention placed on the food, how much you should hold, and how to properly place your hands. It is also a sign of respect towards the host for the provision of the food, as well as towards nature.

In Malaysia and Indonesia, the custom is a little different. It is said that eating with less than three fingers deprives the eater of the pleasures of taste, while eating with five fingers and the palm overwhelms the organs and the body. As such, food should only be eaten with the tips of your fingers.

Eating with hands is not only healthy for the spirit; there are actually scientifically proven benefits to it. According to research, eating by hand helps stimulate digestion, improve blood circulation, and can even help you lose weight by making you feel fuller2.

So next time, before you dig into that delicious plate of biryani, you may want to consider ditching the utensils and digging in with your fingers!

Just as eating by hand helps you appreciate the food better, let Eastspring Investments be the helping hand that enables you to appreciate the investment opportunities that are available today. 

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