Why You Should Always Eat Using Your Right Hand In India

It can be an exciting and fulfilling experience to travel around the world, especially when it involves trying different international cuisines. But it's important to note that not every culture approaches mealtime the same way. For example, as per Travel + Leisure, when you're eating in China or Japan, you must refrain from talking too much. It's not considered polite to chat while eating a meal and even if you try to engage others in a conversation at the dining table, you probably won't receive many enthusiastic responses. Just stay respectful and eat without talking instead.

In Thailand, you shouldn't eat directly with a fork. Rather, only use it to add pieces of food to a spoon, Spoon University explains. Also, chopsticks are typically not a part of Thai culture and it's not considered polite to ask for them at most restaurants. You're likely to be greeted with surprised looks by staff members. In Japan on the other hand, eating with chopsticks is typically the norm, but making direct eye contact with your host is not, Travel + Leisure notes. 

Additionally, if you find yourself enjoying a delicious meal in India, you should take care to not eat with your left hand. It's actually rather offensive.

It's a faux pas

Traditionally speaking, most Indians don't eat with their left hands. You see, in many parts of India, people still eat traditional dishes with their hands instead of cutlery (via Travel + Leisure). The basic rule is this: the right hand is meant to be used when you're eating, while your left hand should be reserved for other activities. Breaking this rule will definitely attract the wrong kind of attention from those around you. 

If you're left-handed, try to use your right hand anyway. If that seems like it's going to be too tricky to manage gracefully, let your dining companions know before starting your meal. One Redditor thinks that it's not easy to eat with your hands, no matter what hand you're using. "It really is an art," they explained. "The other day I was having dinner at an Indian friend's house and I was trying to mimic them but was nowhere near as capable. My friends were able to break off sections of flatbread, dip them and eat them quickly, accurately and cleanly all with one hand." But hey, practice makes perfect, and in this case, practice just means eating Indian food more often.