'rules of civility: dinner etiquette -- formal dining 'gentlemen's gazette' has a web on the topic of this subject from which this picture is pasted.
the indian movie star aishvarya rai's dinner guest, the english journalist, david frost was trying to eat rice with fork, and was not getting the rice lifted from the plate. his host was eating rice with spoon, and told him to do the same, but the knighted englishman he was, refused to eat as suggested, for his was the english way to use the fork, and use of the spoon was only for the soup. watch this on you tube.
how do you eat rice, at home or in restaurant? rice was not a native grain of europe and the americas, even though the u.s. and south americas are now big rice growers that export to the asian countries. still, rice has not become an entree' in western formal dinner, nor would chefs know how to cook rice as a main dish, as people do in india, a dish called doodhpaak or khir, rice cooked in milk with sugar, nutmeg and cardamom. but then, even when the sweetened rice is the main item on the plate, it is never eaten just by itself. it is savored as much as the other items that stimulate the taste buds on the tongue. and it is for this reason the food is cooked with spices, and considering the hardness or the softness of the particular food: the hard to pulverize grains and beans are either floured or softened enough for the teeth to chew on, or made into porridge and soups. the chewing does the mixing it with the saliva that is the digestive juice released from the various taste buds.
biryani and pulav are rice dishes one commonly finds in indian and middle eastern restaurants, are served in these places with spoon, and not with fork as it is customarily served in the european style eateries. so also, in the caucasian homes the rice is eaten with fork. the bangkok chinese restaurants served the fried rice with spoon, and not with fork or chopsticks. some thai restaurants give you two spoons, one spoon pushing the rice into the other spoon.
in the west, the dinner is for the form, and not the content, and as it is seen in the picture, the table is set before the arrival of the diners. plates, forks, and spoons all have precise place around the plate, and as full course dinner's entries are served one after other, in precise order, the spoon for the soup and fork and knife for the meat and so on, the diners' too, dressed in fine formal attire, whether the black tie event or other kind, become the part of the picture of the form. habituated thus, the europeans are used to holding fork they find before them, and assume, that like the rest of the food items of the west, rice, too, must be eaten with fork. the act of eating out of conditioning does not evoke seeing how else rice can be eaten. the indians and midlle easterners eat rice at home, and in native type eateries not with spoon either. they use their fingers. in the east, the act of eating is for nourishment, and the diners see what is in the plate and direct their fingers to relate to the shape of the food item. their fingers are flexible enough to form even spoon to pick up soup.
air, water, and food are necessary ingredients for the body. the repeated act molds the body forming a habit. habit is the memory retained and reinforced motion, forming a way of doing things. as with the food, the tropical warm air was not easy to inhale in the nostrils used to thinner colder air. it requires for the nose to getting used to it, for the limbs and organs are shaped in harmony with the local environment. thus food, cloth, and shelter have local flavor. at some point in the process of the natural evolution the humans lost the adaptability to the changing environment, and it was replaced with a constant struggle to change the environment to suit the habit. this made the english to create "little england" wherever they went, and after reaching the new world they enlarged the boundary of the little england to include the americas. now they are burdened with the struggle to include the rest of the world with the 'world order', ordering the world populace to live thinking and doing things as told. in the 1950s india there was the idea that the christian missionaries functioned as the third reich. religious ideas for the idle belief, the western invented notion of knowledge for thinking things the european way: the warfare to eliminate dissent, and the commerce sector flooding the market with the european home equipped with things westerners are used to. thus every non westerner is corralled with the sense of inferiority, and like a captive horse, is broken to live as conditioned to. the upper class people of the third world and the non caucasian americans thus behave more english than the native english people. it is only the poor of the third world are spared from this form of conversion. as the leader of the people of such mindset, obama had to overcome his colour of skin by acting more liike a typical eurocentric head of state. otherwise, as person born of the interracial marriage, who had some upbringing in the third world would have more of an understanding of the difference between the concepts of the 'family of man' and the 'world order'. and his wife, though given the status of the first lady had to iron out the naturally attractive kinky hair to look the same as the european woman.
it all starts out with the child's perception of the father who knows best. through the schooling the father figure is replaced with the words of other forms of authority, the teacher, preacher and the law. the subjugated populace of the non eureopean continents are thus led to believe that everything concerning this world and beyond, and everything containing everywhere is and behaves the way the european word of mouth says it does. thus anyone desiring to appear authoritative is now required to think, act and look english. the non european populace's visual image of the authority has the uniform, whether that of an emperor and general with the pins and stripes studded uniform, or the european religious head, pope or archbishop, who all could not dare discard even a small lapel pin of the u.s. president, for the fear that they would not retain their authority over their subjects.
among the political figures only gandhi defied the authority, and met with the king dressed in loincloth. nehru and the recent prime minister modi, adopted the new indian image of authority, which is still the same, only new version of the image of authority. the difference between a dress and uniform is that the former is worn for the body, while the latter is worn for the mind. so whether the pope or the head of state or corporation is what one takes off in the security of one's home. once inside the home, one feels as free as the horse without the metal bit in the mouth and the saddle let loose in the paddock.
the natural dress for the body is the same whether indoors or out in the public view. the natural way to live is how one does things anywhere, anytime as it is in the right response to the event. it is as instantaneous and simple as the eyelids closing in the dusty wind.
in essence, the whiteness is not of the colour of skin. it is in the glassware. the whiteness in the vision comes from the fogginess of the glass that blurs the vision. anybody who puts oneself in the authoritative position as teacher, preacher politician or social worker is this white man who is burdened with a lifelong struggle to convert populace to one's habitual perception of how one should live, and upon death should desire to go to the heaven one knows not if it is real.
rudyard kipling wrote "the whiteman's burden", and it enabled him some respect among the orientalists. there is no written account on whether or not he unburdened himself of the english baggage. none of the contemporary authorities of any walk of life they profess to their students and audience readers do.
ever wonder how simple living would feel without the body and mind split, even if one would experience hindrance at every step?, and experience the awakening with the awareness that the problems are the justification for having brains?