Taboo re: Eating with left hand

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  • #11189

    This thought popped into my head and I’ve been hoping to get it answered. I understand that among certain cultures/religions, it is taboo to eat with your left hand, as it is the hand you use to wash yourself and is therefore considered unclean. What happens if someone in that culture breaks his/her right arm? Or doesn’t have one? How do they circumvent this taboo? I know this sounds like a strange question, but I had to ask.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Annique-Elise G., Gender : F, Disability : Deaf, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 22, City : n/a, State : NA Country : Canada, Occupation : student, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #27505

    Srinivas
    Member

    I am originally from such a culture. Trust me, they are not that picky. I have lived away from that cultural area for a while, and when I have returned for visits, I have often used both hands, one occasion being when I simply was not dexterous enough to hold and tear a piece of bread with one hand. No big deal. If you don’t have a right hand, just do everything with your left (just wash your hand often); similarly, if you don’t have a left hand, you would have to wash yourself with your right. It is not a big deal.

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    Name : Srinivas, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : East Indian, Religion : Humanist, Age : 26, City : Tucson, State : AZ Country : United States, Occupation : Law Student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #41447

    Ally31443
    Participant

    I’m mostly left handed, I eat with my left hand but I use my right hand to ‘clean’ myself. This is the first I’ve heard of this taboo. Do righthanded people use their left hand to ‘clean’ themselves?

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    Name : Ally31443, Gender : F, Religion : Atheist, Age : 29, City : Los Angeles, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Lawyer, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, 
    #26117

    Jim30685
    Participant

    I am glad it is not Taboo in Texas. If it was I would be up a creek without a paddle. I do most everything with my left hand and would be lost without it.

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    Name : Jim30685, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 38, City : Corpus Christi, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Refinery Operations, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper class, 
    #20044

    Matt K.
    Member

    I spent some time in India and learned to eat with only my right hand. Sometimes I would forget and my hosts would be tolerant. In discussions, it came up that the punishment for thievery was (used to be?) to cut off the right hand. One of the consequences was that the offender was no longer able to eat in ‘polite’ society.

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    Name : Matt K., Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : quasi Zen/pantheistic, Age : 51, City : San Francisco, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Mediator, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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