Quite interesting, but this topic has always been intriguing to me, since eating habits with hands is normally found mostly in the Indian sub continent. Each country has different culture and cuisines. The method of preparation and method of eating them is also different. For example, people in western countries eat food with spoon and fork and in south east Asian countries with chopsticks.
I have seen people from west, watching our Indian counterparts with awe when eating with hands.
Imagine, eating drumstick with spoon, quite funny, isn’t it?
I feel the food items also play a major role in deciding how they are eaten? Same goes with good old roti. But the main reason why Indians eat with hands is, in olden days, it was -first offered to GOD and then eaten. Even still in some households, orthodox ones, male folks take some water and make a circle with it on the full platter and drink the water and utter mantra and offer to GOD and then start eating. This process is called parishesshanam, meaning, food left after offering.
Also eating food with hands have proven to enhance the flavour of food and facilitate digestion as well.
So be it east or west, north or south, food is eaten with hands in India. But I can relate here why you should eat with your hands. While eating with spoon makes eating mechanical, eating with hands makes you feel more connected to food.
Eating with hands adds a dimension to food of your feelings and engages your senses.
More importantly, our ancestors ate that way, so it’s the reason we should follow suit. Also eating with your hands make you feel happy. So besides the wisdom behind eating with hands there is one more thing, when eating with hands you encounter the pleasures of eating more since the tip of the fingers facilitate and aid in digestion and improves alertness.
While our western counterparts may disagree and consider eating with spoons and forks, eating with hands is healthy and contribute to engaging our senses as well. So next meal you eat consider all these points and have a bite thanking GOD for not only the food, but to have made you eat with hands as well.