While browsing local news, I came across an article about a Fil Canadian boy named Luc Cagadoc in GMA website who according to report felt discriminated when the principal of the school was quoted as saying “you are here in Canada…you should eat the way Canadians eat”…at first I was confused thinking how does a typical Canadian eat their food??..since throughout the article it was said that the boy actually used spoon and fork eating his lunch so I thought, what’s wrong? I think it is quite acceptable. Then I realized, oh ok…because now the trend is to use Fork and knife when eating which many people consider the more proper way of eating food..even many Asians now do the same whenever they are not using chopsticks to eat.
To counter the issue, the principal claimed that the boy was disciplined for being disruptive and not for using spoon and fork at the same time per se. Of course everyone can state their claim but at the end, the court will be responsible to prove these claims.
Now my question is…what is really the proper way of eating food?
I googled and found out some interesting articles about Table manners in various parts of the world:
In summary, many countries observe different table manners. In India, Pakistan and Bangladesh even in Philippines, eating by hand is a common practice and a good way to savor the taste of the food and not rude at all. Some countries burp or slurp the soup as loudly as possible to let the host (or chef) know that they are enjoying/enjoyed the food served.
Eating with Spoon and Fork at the same time is not as rude or annoying as let say talking when your mouth is full or filling your plate with too many foods but at the end cannot even finish half of the food.
It may be true the said incident was really taken out of proportion but I believe as an individual we have the right to enjoy the food or any blessing that is given to us. Respecting cultures and tradition is very important as well. On the contrary, if we live in a foreign country or consider a foreign country as our second home, we must also exert efforts to adjust to their customs and traditions so our old ways will not be considered taboo especially if locals of that country is not accustomed to our style. As the cliche goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do..However, this doesn’t mean we forget our roots cos we should not, no matter what.
As for me, I am not ashamed to say I eat by hands whenever at home enjoying Mom’s home cooked food with the family. I use chopsticks when eating Chinese or Japanese food or some Thai food for that matter. I eat with spoon and fork if there is no available knife and lastly I can eat with fork and knife during social functions or if no spoon is available in the table.
The key is balance. We adjust our way of life a little and do our old ways a little. Then we can enjoy both worlds.