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Stories of rape and watermelon

A French friend and I, both leaving in India for a long time in India, had an interesting conversation with an Indian guy, in his thirties, nice, owner of a resort in Goa. A bit agressive (to say the least).

Dialogue about the rapes in India (topic that the media have been extensively covering in the past few years – now I personally don’t know whether the number of cases has been tremendously increasing or we have just been hearing much more about it or if the fact that there is more publicity around it empowered more women to come forward as victims:

-         Him: You don’t understand anything to the Indian culture, how justice functions in the villages. The media have turn into business companies and rape makes sell.

-          Her: ...

-          Him: For example, if a village woman gets raped, the village authorities (the Panchayat) make the culprit to marry his victim, so that she is not marginalized and is protected (by her husband)!

-          Her: There you see, it may be just my point of view as a Westerner, but as a woman I find it atrocious that not only you are raped but you have to spend the rest of your life with your attacker. And the fact that this is the only way I don’t get all the drunkards of the village to fuck me hardly sounds like a consolation... It is kind of sad that a woman has no status, no life, as a person and has to be married to be someone...


Dialogue about cutting a watermelon:

-          Him (who is fasting today and can only have milk (and not packaged milk) and fruits): Fuck, I can't cut this watermelon!

-          Me (as a well-mannered host): Wait, I’ll do it for you!

-          He: Ok! But could you wash your hands before? Nothing impure should touch my food today and maybe your hands have touched your mouth or something like that and that would pollute my food.

-          Me: Ok! Well you know what, you can cut it yourself your watermelon!

Those balls! I know that there are special rules in India, especially when it comes to food. The Brahmins should only eat food cooked by a Brahmin. Hindus fast on some days – most of them choose a day in the week, depending on their “favorite” God. It kind of makes sense as from what I have heard, it is medically good to fast one day a week. It also makes sense when people can not afford food every day; it then gets justified by the religion and then people forget why they do what they do.

That my hands may be impure, I can live with that. Apparently, after starting food, you (and it is true for everybody) are not supposed to touch anything (pan, bowl, bottle) that the others may touch. No, no contamination and it is all for the best...

But here the point was that MY hands got declared impure on one day, the day HE decides to fast. I found that exceptional! He could have asked whether I had my periods while he was at it (in Hinudism, more impure than that you die...)…

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See this website


Why in India people eat with their fingers?

This post is dedicated to one of my French bosses who asked me recently, after a trip in India, if in my opinion “they” would continue to eat with their hands for a long time. “These savages” he might as well have added. 

Before I praise the practice of using fingers, a small memo on how the “sophisticated” countries actually stopped it... 


“The use of fork dates back to ancient times. The Egyptians already used some kinds of metal hooks for cooking and grabbing food in the pots.

The forks we use today are believed to have appeared in the Byzantine Empire. They were introduced in North Italy in the middle of the eleventh century where they were originally reserved for pasta. India, eating with hands, eating with fingers, hands, fingers, eat, good manners, chapati, roti, rice, fork,history of the fork,food

The fork was presented in France by Catherine de Medici but its use first remained very restricted (to cooked pears). Her son, Henri III, during a trip to Italy in 1574 got seduced by this funny tool which enabled people to eat without staining the huge collars or “strawberries”, that were so fashionable. Thus he returned in France with forks and showed it off at his favourite restaurant: Hostellerie de Tour D'Argent (current Tour D'Argent in Paris).

The use of this tool emerged very gradually in France. At the table of Louis XIV, each guest had a fork on the left of their plate, but it was not used because the King himself preferred to eat with his fingers...

It is only at the end of the seventeenth century that the fork was finally used to bring food from the plate to the mouth. It is at the same time that the shape changed, from two to four prongs.”* 


So it has been only 400 small years that we stopped eating with our fingers in France!

And I find kind of sad! I think eating with fingers has only advantages. First the food tastes better – it must be the combination of four senses instead of three.


It is more eco-friendly (so much we won’t wash!).


You don’t burn your tongue – but your fingers.


India, eating with hands, eating with fingers, hands, fingers, eat, good manners, chapati, roti, rice, fork,history of the fork,foodAnd you don’t get snapped at because you don’t use your fork or knife properly. Well, you may get a comment if you get food up to the palm: according to ‘good manners’** in northern India, where commonly people use bread (chapati) to gather the food, food should not cross the second phalange.  In such situation, just reply that you learned to eat in South India where a rules are less strict (instead of chapatis they eat a lot of rice which is not so easy to grab! (But don’t overdo it or youey’ll give the impression to be a pig!) 

The only important thing is to avoid using the left hand. That would be gross! When you think it is the hand dedicated to ass-wiping...


What is funny is that the majority of tourists in India (my mother ahead of the pack) are really disturbed when they have to eat with their hands... And yet don’t we eat French fries and chicken legs with fingers in France? 


* Source: http://www.gralon.NET/articles/materiel-et-consommables/equipement-Cafe--Hotel-et-Restaurant/article-La-fourchette---Histoire-d-une-invention-3123.htm  

* Source: