Thursday, November 20, 2008
Dining Indian Style
After the seminar, we went for an authentic Indian dinner with two women Bree works with. We took a Rickshaw to her mentor's house and then we went on our Ladies' Night Out. We had a wide variety of Indian foods and we were able to ask the family about their dining customs, religious beliefs, ad daily life. We were dressed in Saris (traditional Indian dresses) and given bindis (a forehead decoration) to wear. I loved dressing up, saying the family spiritual mantra, and being welcomed into an Indian home.
It is the custom that food is always served hot, so the hostess does not eat with the family because she makes sure that once the food is ready, it is served quickly, so that it will not get cold. The sister or selected female, other than the mother, also does not eat at the same time as the rest of the family. She serves the food onto the plates. The men are served first and guests (myself and Bree) are not to help in any way. The guests are meant to enjoy the hospitality and food that is provided for them. It is a culturally different environment, so not to offend other peoples' cultural beliefs, it is important to respect their values and traditions, even if it is different from your own.