Part 1: When in India, do as the Indians do. One of my favorite memories is when the HIV positive kids at Arias Home of Hope made fun of us then tried to teach us the proper way to eat.
Part 2: I’ve never much cared for Oprah. Not sure why, just Oprah never clicked with me. One of the things we were very cognizant of in India was our need to adapt to Indian customs. So I was pretty surprised and pretty appalled to read about Oprah’s “enlightened” response to Indian eating. Way to go, Oprah!
Oprah Winfrey may be known for her favourite things, but eating with her hands is clearly not one of them.
The queen of talk, 58, has ignited uproar in India after she is heard asking whether Indian people still ‘eat with their hands.’
The controversial comment came as she sat down to dine with the Somani family in Mumbai.’First traditional Indian meal,’ she says in a singsong voice. ‘This is so exciting!’
But as members of the family explain the cuisine, Oprah asks: ‘I heard some Indian people eat with their hands still.’
According to Indian tradition, meals are usually not consumed with forks, knives and spoons.
It is also customary to eat only with your right hand, and use the left for moving food onto one’s plate from a serving dish.
Oprah just cannot seem to get her head around it as the Somanis inform her that Indians usually consume their food with just one hand, as she dips some bread with her left hand.She then gives up the one-handed dining altogether, saying: ‘So I’m going to use both hands, or I’ll be here all night.’
The comments drew intense criticism from Indian citizens, who blasted Oprah for her insensitivity to Indian customs and traditions.
There’s more in the article including a video. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2178765/Oprah-Winfrey-draws-India-remark-people-eat-hands.html#ixzz22bgqMeTg
And at BBC:
Oprah Winfrey has been criticised after the broadcast of a two-part TV special about her trip to India in January.
The Oprah’s Next Chapter special was called “myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche” by one Indian commentator and “snobbish” and “snooty” by another.
The Daily Bhaskar website said the “ill picturized and badly scripted show” portrayed India “in poor light”.
Winfrey, 58, drew particular criticism for remarking on the Indian tradition of eating with one’s hands.
“I heard some Indian people eat with their hands still?” she is seen asking a Mumbai family she joins for dinner.
“Using our hands to eat is a well-established tradition and a fact none of us are ashamed of,” blogged Rituparna Chatterjee of the CNN-IBN news channel.
“As a responsible public figure about to air a show that will be beamed across the world, you should have done your homework.”
Winfrey’s week in India saw her rub shoulders with Bollywood royalty, attend a literary festival in Jaipur and visit the Taj Mahal in Agra.
The result, according to the Wall Street Journal’s India Real Time blog, typified “India as Westerners imagine it, one stereotype at a time”.
The programme was originally shown in the US this April, but premiered in India over the weekend.