23 juni 2011
Food + Eating with hands = Unlimited fun + Lasting friendship
In my Nepalese culture, food plays a big role in bringing people together. It works perfectly in my favour since I am not the socializing type but I like to think of myself as a decent cook. So, whenever I want to make friends, I invite them over and make them a Nepalese dinner. Within one and a half hours of eating and drinking, we become friends for at least that course's period!
I held one of these dinner parties quite recently. I served a Typical Nepalese meal comprising of steamed rice, lentil soup with some Nepalese herbs that you can't get in Europe, butter chicken and spicy vegetables - though I toned down the spiciness of the food. We all sat down to eat and as soon as I started to eat, all eyes were fixated on me. It didn't take long to find out why. I was eating with my hand, while they were all using the provided cutlery. I felt a bit embarrassed at first but explained to them that in Nepal, we always eat with our hands, so it came naturally to me. One of them asked me if it was safe. I answered with a chuckle and remarked that it would also lead to fewer dishes to clean after we were done with dinner. After that, they all put down their cutlery and embarked on one of the most exciting adventures of their lives!
I had fun watching them struggle to eat with their hands, the soup dripping from between their fingers. They were all giggling and we had a great time. After nearly an hour, they managed to finish it all. And now whenever we come across one another, we talk like real friends do; it doesn't just end with a nod and a shallow ‘Hi!' Perhaps because I made them immerse themselves in a unique culture which they might never have thought existed in this sophisticated modern world.
Anukram Adhikary (Nepal), MSc student, Management, Economics and Consumer Studies