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Indian Table manners

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Indian table mannerIndian table manners, like many other table manners from all over the world, have some interesting facts that are meant to maintain best mood at the dining table and on the whole make the Indian dining an enjoyable experience. Being a culturally rich nation, even the dining reflects culture. Right from seating, which is on rug on a floor to eating, which is with hands, every act bear a strong cultural connection. Food is considered as a gift of god and therefore a lot of respect is attached to it.


Globalisation has definitely led to lot of dilution of mannerism –for comfort of the guest or just the changing time. So we have dining tables almost in every urban house in India, however, rural societies still adhere to the norms. A trip to India is considered incomplete without authentic Indian dining experience. However, a little homework before enjoying the Indian meal can enhance the whole experience.


You may go with following table manners to make your Indian dining perfect.


  • Clean your hands thoroughly because Indian food tastes best when eaten with hands.
  • You will be asked to sit on a rug on the floor, so wear something loose so that you can be comfortable sitting on floor.
  • Wait for the eldest person to sit and then you may take your seat.
  • Do not talk too much while you wait for food to be served. That is considered rude.  
  • Once everybody sits, the food is served on a plate or banana leaf, you should wait for the eldest person to take the first bite.
  • Even if you are left-hander, do not use your left hand to eat. It is considered rude and bad, as left hand is considered unsanitary, as it is for toilet activities.
  • Now, eating with hands can be an art, because in North India, you could raise eyebrows, if your stain your palms with curries and sauce, while eating. You are expected to eat only with your finger and not the entire hand.
  • Even breads are supposed to be broken using your thumb and forefinger of ond hand, don’t use both hands to eat or break chapatti.
  • You should neatly wrap the dishes with chapatti piece and eat, without dripping and staining. In case of rice and curry, you should mix both and then lift it with fingers with the help of thumb and push the morsel into your mouth with your thumb.
  • Before you ask for another helping, you should finish the food on your plate. All the dishes are served at the same time, so you need not pile food in your plate, you can politely say that you would take it later.
  • Rice and chapatti are staples, so you should not say no to that.
  • Host will serve the food, even if it’s well within your reach, you should not take it yourself.
  • You should not wash your hand in the plate, instead wait for finger bowl. You may also be asked to get up and go to a certain place, where host might be pouring water for your to wash hands.
  • You should never get up before the eldest person. If in the middle or end, you have to get up, you should take permission.
  • Leaving food on plate unfinished is considered disrespect to host and food.
  • If you are eating on banana leaf, you should fold it nicely and throw away. Make sure you don’t go on dripping while you take it away.

 It may sound a little difficult, however, rules are bend for guests, as Indian consider guests like God. But if you may follow their manners, it might just impress them.


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Indian Table Manners