Last week I received a very unusual message on FB. I am deeply upset with myself for allowing myself to be upset by such incidents but it so happens that I am volatile ( even prior to my pregnancy). This message was from a so called distant relative of my dad residing in Italy. And it read
Please take this message in the right sense, consider it like an advice from an elder brother ( building up tension). I saw some snaps on your food blog ( ok now he is getting to the point) and I see that you use bare hands to cook. This is unhygienic and will send wrong message to the world ( What the Fu###k ? ). I was supposed to show this link to some of my Italian friends and I was worried about what they would think? As it is they think we Indians are unhygienic ( I am bursting, seriously I am). So please use gloves henceforth.
I was appalled at what I was reading, and I decided to share it with my hubby after all he is the calm one among us. He read it patiently and asked in quite unparliamentary words ( something I will translate parliamentarily here) Wasn't this guy born here and did his mom not cook using her hands? It's amazing he survived with all the unhygienic background.And then began my battle of mails with this fellow where I had to shatter his colonized mind off the burden to appease his colonizer friends. Well all I wrote was this
Dear Mr X.
I hope you realize India got freedom in 1947 and we ate with hands before 1947 and we still do. In fact eating with hands requires us to wash it before and after unlike man of you friends who might forget to do so because they don't eat with hands. And in fact I have been to Italy and have seen Italians eat Pizzas, Panini and many other stuff ( Like pop corn, MC Donald hamburger, french fries) using hands. In fact I spent an afternoon watching them toss pizza dough with bare beefy hands. And guess what in Venice, Milan, Florence and Perugia, they used hands to make pizza dough. Now I don't know about Rome and since you are there, you should tell me how to knead the pizza dough wearing gloves. Morevoer I am checking cookery videos and I see Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson using bare hands I am sure they are outcasts and disgrace to your Italian friends.
And if your friends think we are unhygienic please tell them despite eating with dirty bare hands, and cooking with the same, we could not even kill 1/10th of our population, I wish we could that could be the best population control strategy.
Please find out if Sonia Gandhi uses here hands to eat, I am sure if she does that should upset Italy even more.
This mail was met with an absurd reply which made me want to hire a contract killer to kill this guy..
You treat me like an enemy. Your dad and my dad were second cousins and you wrote to me with such arrogance ( oh god, why can't this guy stick to the point). I did not want my friends to misunderstand you. (to hell with your friends). I am ashamed at the way you argued ( yep, coz you seem to be the loser). I will never advice you hereafter ( good for you and I am blocking you dear brother).
I finally blocked this guy off FB. I am surprised I get to meet such people and that they exist. Shallow people who wag their tails to appease the foreigners and who belittle their own culture and upbringing for this. Just because you stay a couple of years abroad does not mean you get to look down on your own people Mr Smarty pants and you are free to wear gloves to eat your idlis and dosas ( after all they are coated with germs) . May you live ten years more than me and be a burden to mother earth.
Seriously, why is it so cool when a foreigner eats with his fingers and why is it messy when we lick our hands dripping of curd rice. We use chopsticks, fork and knife and eat every cuisine they way it's meant to be so why is using hands a disgrace? And then you tell me crap like get close to nature?
I know this is an absurd fight but coming from an Indian born here and residing in Italy after the first half of his life I find this hypocritical. I am not ethnocentric but I will not allow myself to be judged and moulded for someone else that's just not me. ( After going through my blog all he had to say was wear gloves ??? )
This post is not meant to offend any other culture but I don't think imitating another culture, another accent, another way of life to be accepted by someone else is cool. It just shows how uncomfortable you are with yourself and how low your self esteem is.