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You still eat with your hands?
July 23, 2012 8:44 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday I had the dubious pleasure of watching Oprah’s Next Chapter: India on TLC. The name of the programme is pretty self-explanatory. And I’d already heard of her series, Oprah’s Next Chapter in the US where she “steps outside of the studio for enlightening conversations with newsmakers, celebrities, thought leaders and real-life families”. I’ve never been a great fan of Oprah’s – and the fact that she truly follows and believes everything that Deepak Chopra and Dr Phil say has nothing to do with it. I do think though, that she’s a good interviewer, she’s well-informed, an easy conversationalist and is well-travelled. But all that has changed after watching Oprah’s Next Chapter: India. Myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche. This was Middle America at its best worst.
posted by infini (132 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Someone should publish a glossy coffee-table book about her trip called Imbeciles Abroad.
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 8:50 AM on July 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


“So I hear some people in India STILL eat with their hands”. I don’t know what people in America are eating their hot dogs, pizzas and tacos with but perhaps Oprah’s home has evolved cutlery for all that.

Don't be ridiculous. Oprah has frond-waving servant boys who feed her hot dogs with chopsticks, pizza with paddles, and tacos with fishing line.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:52 AM on July 23, 2012 [21 favorites]


The tag should be corrected. Oprah is in fact a billionaire.
posted by Egg Shen at 8:54 AM on July 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


So was Oprah. She was taken on a guided tour through a slum in Bombay by the prince of poverty tourism – Gregory David Roberts. He of Shantaram and deplorable sentence construction fame.

Oh, Rajyasree Sen, how can you see that speck in Roberts' eye with that lumberyard in your own?
posted by komara at 8:54 AM on July 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


...whose child she said was “lit from within” whatever that means. I think it’s a condition that happens to children in Deepak Chopra’s homeland.

That was delicious.
posted by gurple at 8:58 AM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


I don’t know what people in America are eating their hot dogs, pizzas and tacos with

I didn't see the show, but this comment is dead-on. People in America eat more food with their hands than in any other time prior to the invention of the fork. Only thing is, we don't have access to the finger bowls that were provided back then. To "hot dogs, pizzas, and tacos," add sandwiches, chicken McNuggets, hamburgers, wraps, pita sandwiches, fried chicken, chocolate bars, french fries. Fast food nation is all about finger foods. And the more people consume fast foods, the more cutlery becomes irrelevant.
posted by Gordion Knott at 9:04 AM on July 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


She probably did a lot better than Mitt Romney would have.
posted by goethean at 9:05 AM on July 23, 2012


Goethean, talk about damning with faint praise.
posted by oddman at 9:06 AM on July 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Finally, a MetaFilter witch hunt I can get behind!
posted by klanawa at 9:08 AM on July 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


This was Oprah’s first visit to India. Now whenever an American or a British TV show host visits India, he or she is always accompanied on his travels through our very exotic land by someone living in India, a sort of cultural friend, philosopher and guide.

There's a lot of contempt in this statement. Is it because of who she chose as a guide, or is there something intrinsically wrong with hiring a native-born as a guide? Forgive me for being naive if it's a case of privilege/racism/imperialistic thinking that i'm not privy to.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:11 AM on July 23, 2012


Once Oprah got through with them, they must have committed seppuku.

Is this a joke that Americans can't tell Asian countries apart? It seems odd that Rajyasree Sen wouldn't know the difference....
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:12 AM on July 23, 2012


Taking Oprah as your symbol of blithely unselfconscious first world privilege is a little odd. She grew up in abject poverty in rural Mississippi in the 50's. I think she knows a damn sight more about the subject than most of the commenters here and quite possibly more Rajyasree Sen.

Sure, she's a billionaire now and sure that comment about "still" eating with their hands was pretty stupid--but for the rest she's just doing her job, acting as a proxy for her audience, trying to ask the questions that they would naturally ask about these people's lives.
posted by yoink at 9:13 AM on July 23, 2012 [27 favorites]


To "hot dogs, pizzas, and tacos," add sandwiches, chicken McNuggets, hamburgers, wraps, pita sandwiches, fried chicken, chocolate bars, french fries. Fast food nation is all about finger foods. And the more people consume fast foods, the more cutlery becomes irrelevant.

And popcorn plus various kinds of chips. Oh and granola, in bar form or not.

But also fruit, nuts and non-hot vegetables (carrots, celery, etc).

Finger food doesn't have to be bad for you. It just happens that finger and unhealthy food have similar (stated) goals: convenience.

I could definitely get behind a "healthy finger foods" movement. "No cutlery" == "no cutlery waste".
posted by DU at 9:14 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:15 AM on July 23, 2012


MetaFilter: A witch hunt I can get behind
posted by knile at 9:16 AM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Forgive me for being naive if it's a case of privilege/racism/imperialistic thinking that i'm not privy to.

Yeah, this is the model for all TV shows that involve visiting a distant land. And, it makes perfect sense. You have to have somebody who can provide didactic exposition in the form of conversation. That seems like a niggling criticism.
posted by OmieWise at 9:16 AM on July 23, 2012


And I really dislike Oprah and her idiocy.
posted by OmieWise at 9:17 AM on July 23, 2012


We need to get Thomas Friedman in there to tell us the real story.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:17 AM on July 23, 2012 [31 favorites]


There's a lot of contempt in this statement. Is it because of who she chose as a guide, or is there something intrinsically wrong with hiring a native-born as a guide? Forgive me for being naive if it's a case of privilege/racism/imperialistic thinking that i'm not privy to.

FirstMateKate, I think the author's contempt isn't so much aimed at the practice of using a native-born guide, as it is the fact that Oprah chose for her guide this Gregory David Roberts person, who is apparently some sort of schmuck.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:17 AM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


But all that has changed after watching Oprah’s Next Chapter: India. Myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche. This was Middle America at its best worst.

Yes, lets respond to ignorant slights of our culture by ignorantly slighting someone else's!

Oprah does not exactly equal "Middle America." If you think Oprah did something wrong, perhaps you should blame Oprah, not generalize about millions of people!
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 9:19 AM on July 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


FirstMateKate: "This was Oprah’s first visit to India. Now whenever an American or a British TV show host visits India, he or she is always accompanied on his travels through our very exotic land by someone living in India, a sort of cultural friend, philosopher and guide.

There's a lot of contempt in this statement. Is it because of who she chose as a guide, or is there something intrinsically wrong with hiring a native-born as a guide? Forgive me for being naive if it's a case of privilege/racism/imperialistic thinking that i'm not privy to.
"

But you pulled the sentence out of context, there is a lot of contempt in the entire piece, it is a polemic, by design anything Oprah says or does while in India is open to contempt. It's not an objective piece. You're supposed to get behind the Middle America bashing, Middle America's favorite pastime.
posted by stbalbach at 9:20 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd never heard of Gregory David Roberts who has a pretty unusual story.
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 9:21 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Middle America?
posted by Sailormom at 9:22 AM on July 23, 2012


Sure, she's a billionaire now and sure that comment about "still" eating with their hands was pretty stupid--but for the rest she's just doing her job, acting as a proxy for her audience, trying to ask the questions that they would naturally ask about these people's lives.
posted by yoink at 9:13 AM on July 23 [+] [!]


That may be true, but I'd like a reporter better if they weren't asking what normal people would be asking. Because most normal people would be asking stupid, loaded questions with cultural bias. I'd rather her ask thoughtful questions that respect the inerviewee, that teach the audience something. So hopefully the audience can realize that answers to questions like "you eat with your hands?", or "you all live in this one room?" don't actually matter. It's trivial bullcrap that does nothing more than to fulfill a bunch of idiots' need to go "look at how different and far behind they are from us!"
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:22 AM on July 23, 2012 [22 favorites]


This sort of thing is why I have a hard time calling myself an Oprah fan these days.

I can't ignore this sort of thing. It's so condescending, and for someone who's familiar with poverty herself, it's astonishing how Oprah behaves sometimes.

At the same time, I can't ignore her advocacy for so many causes. She got a lot of people reading again, people who hadn't picked up a book since high school. She was out there saying that racism is still around, folks, and we have to address it. She was out there fighting for gay rights. She was out there fighting against sexual assault, for both women AND men. She was pleading for openmindness, tolerance, acceptance, understanding. And her voice was heard--and still is heard--in some of the most conservative households in the US.

When I think of the US pop culture landscape before Oprah went on the air, and afterwards...it's hard not to be grateful for all she's done. She ain't perfect, not by a long shot, but damn, did she help a lot of people. Damn, did she beat down a lot of barriers.

Just...damn, Oprah. I think of all she's done, and I think, Why you got to be like that?
posted by magstheaxe at 9:23 AM on July 23, 2012 [21 favorites]


On 2nd thought, can someone explain this sentence to me: "This was Middle America at its best worst." Maybe I am misunderstanding it? "best worst" is an idiom I don't really understand?
posted by ThisIsNotMe at 9:23 AM on July 23, 2012


She is an American without sophisticated knowledge/understanding of the culture she's visiting, like most of her viewers. She comes to India as an American who seeks that understanding, without any pretension of being anyone other than herself. This is the point of the whole thing, and what makes interesting television.. The author of this piece would prefer she visit India with a full unspoken understanding of the different ways people live their lives in India. Really the entire subject would dissolve, and you'd be left with her just hanging out with people and making idle chit-chat. He seems to have a problem with the entire idea of this kind of "visitor comes to grips with a different culture" television.
posted by naju at 9:26 AM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's the opposite of worst best.
posted by odinsdream at 9:27 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also - I don't feel like I can cast any judgment on stuff like "You still eat with your hands?" without actually seeing the video. Something like that is largely about the way you say it, and Oprah always comes off as generous, friendly and non-condescending to my ears.
posted by naju at 9:30 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


yoink: Taking Oprah as your symbol of blithely unselfconscious first world privilege is a little odd. She grew up in abject poverty in rural Mississippi in the 50's. I think she knows a damn sight more about the subject than most of the commenters here and quite possibly more Rajyasree Sen.
It doesn't show. It's easy to forget one's roots, so long and so far from them.
Sure, she's a billionaire now and sure that comment about "still" eating with their hands was pretty stupid--but for the rest she's just doing her job, acting as a proxy for her audience, trying to ask the questions that they would naturally ask about these people's lives.
I disagree, yoink. Yes, she should act as some sort of proxy, but not a tone-deaf proxy.

[paraphrase from article]: "Children, how can you live in such a tiny room? Don’t you feel it’s too cramped?"

VERSUS

[A better possible response]: "Your family seems quite happy together. Your house is smaller than many houses I am familiar with - it's about 10x10'. Can you show me how you make the most of this space?"
posted by IAmBroom at 9:30 AM on July 23, 2012 [23 favorites]


"We need to get Thomas Friedman in there to tell us the real story."

Well, at least he'll hear the real story from a cab driver.
posted by bardic at 9:31 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oprah always comes off as generous...

Generous now maybe, but when she was on Baltimore TV in the early 80's, she didn't tip her evening paperboy. I'm still waiting!
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:33 AM on July 23, 2012 [30 favorites]


There's a lot of contempt in this statement. Is it because of who she chose as a guide, or is there something intrinsically wrong with hiring a native-born as a guide? Forgive me for being naive if it's a case of privilege/racism/imperialistic thinking that i'm not privy to.

I assumed that part of her point was that choosing one guide to represent a country that encompasses as many ethnicities and cultures as India is at most as meaningful as choosing one guide to represent all of Europe or something similar.
posted by invitapriore at 9:35 AM on July 23, 2012


Just...damn, Oprah. I think of all she's done, and I think, Why you got to be like that?

What exactly has she done that's so amazing?
posted by Fritz Langwedge at 9:35 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


She probably did a lot better than Mitt Romney would have.

I would prefer the refreshingly cool pokers to the eyes, please.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:39 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


She comes to India as an American who seeks that understanding, without any pretension of being anyone other than herself. This is the point of the whole thing, and what makes interesting television.

She comes to India as perhaps the hugest celebrity on the planet, trying to whip up ratings for her dying cable channel. There's no getting around that.
posted by blucevalo at 9:39 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Taking Oprah as your symbol of blithely unselfconscious first world privilege is a little odd. She grew up in abject poverty in rural Mississippi in the 50's. I think she knows a damn sight more about the subject than most of the commenters here and quite possibly more Rajyasree Sen.

Oprah was working as an anchorwoman at 19, and was wealthy before she was 30. She basically hasn't had to worry about money for her entire adult life, and she is nearly 60 now. She has never had children, or a mortgage. For decades now she's been surrounded by sycophants who anticipate and provide for her least wish. The airplane hanger for her private plane is decorated so she won't have to see ugly concrete, and the plane's operations are timed so that she won't have to smell gas when walking to the plane.

Yes, she was undeniably poor as a child and she certainly knows some things about being poor, but I think there are aspects of being poor or even middle-class, even in the North American version of those things, that are completely outside her experience, and abroad she's really at sea.
posted by orange swan at 9:40 AM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


Protip: avoid opening your conversation with an Indian about how you want to visit the Taj Mahal. It was built by Muslims, which account for 0.14 billion out of India's 1.24 billion population. Chances are the person you talk to won't appreciate your primary interest being one that doesn't represent the majority of the Indian populace.
posted by furtive at 9:41 AM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


*Watches American eat greasy pizza and gloopy burger with hands, assumes haughty British superiority smirk, polishes silver cutlery, orders an Indian.*
posted by Decani at 9:41 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


So hopefully the audience can realize that answers to questions like "you eat with your hands?", or "you all live in this one room?" don't actually matter

Actually, both of those things are inherently interesting. The only actual error the author (who is clearly framing everything as negatively as possible) identifies is the "still" in the "eating with your hands" question--and as someone mentions above, without actually seeing the tape it's a little hard to know what to make of that; it would certainly be an uncharacteristic moment for Oprah from what I understand of her. Asking people if they all live in the same room and if they do or do not find it "cramped" is a perfectly reasonable question.

I've seen variations on those "X person from Y culture with everything they possess photos" posted here on the blue plenty of times (just recently there was that one of children from different cultures and the rooms they sleep in). We are all interested in those differences and we are all interested--quite naturally and rightly--in what the people involved make of those difference. I would fully expect a reporter from India interviewing some rich American family of four that lives in a 20,000 sq. ft. house to ask if they don't find they rattle around in the place or if they feel guilty for having so much when others have so little. To know whether this particular family of Indian slum dwellers (clearly poor, but also clearly by no means destitute) whether they perceive themselves primarily in the frame of comparison to those wealthier than them ("yes, it's so terribly cramped, we all dream of having our own bedrooms") or to those poorer than them ("no, we're just incredibly grateful to have this place and to be together") is an important and salient question.
posted by yoink at 9:42 AM on July 23, 2012


What exactly has she done that's so amazing?

She was many white Americans' first black friend. For what that's worth.
posted by dhartung at 9:47 AM on July 23, 2012 [7 favorites]


The tone of the article strikes me as the exact same way people talk about tourists everywhere, even when livelihoods depend on that money.

That said, I decided to not watch Oprah again after watching her interview Meredith Baxter. Oprah was clearly trying to get Meredith to cry. It was such a turn-off. I didn't really watch her much before that, either.
posted by annsunny at 9:48 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


What exactly has she done that's so amazing?

Becoming the first self-made black female billionaire* may or may not be respect-worthy - but it does carry a pretty high degree of difficulty.

* Madame C.J. Walker probably wouldn't be a billionaire even adjusted for inflation and Sheila Johnson had help.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Generous now maybe, but when she was on Baltimore TV in the early 80's, she didn't tip her evening paperboy. I'm still waiting!

Do you still want your two dollars?
posted by euphorb at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2012 [16 favorites]


The best part of the special was at the end, when she told everybody in India to look under their chairs, and they did, and they each found a SHINY NEW FORK! hidden there.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:49 AM on July 23, 2012 [25 favorites]


What exactly has she done that's so amazing?

She was many white Americans' first black friend. For what that's worth.
posted by dhartung at 9:47 AM on July 23 [+] [!]


Not commenting on the veracity of this statement, or how it reflects O's accomplishments as a whole, but I did laugh my ass off. Well played.
posted by FirstMateKate at 9:50 AM on July 23, 2012


Just...damn, Oprah. I think of all she's done, and I think, Why you got to be like that?

What exactly has she done that's so amazing?


Did you read the rest of the comment you quoted from?
posted by orange swan at 9:53 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


She was many white Americans' first black friend. For what that's worth.

Bill Cosby respectfully fleeb-floob-zowies.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:54 AM on July 23, 2012 [20 favorites]


Bill Cosby respectfully fleeb-floob-zowies.

Before him, Nat Cole. Before him, Bill Robinson.
posted by Egg Shen at 9:56 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Atom Eyes, I keep reading your comment and cracking up. An spoofed "Indian version" of Oprah's show where every audience member gets a SHINY NEW FORK and a guest talks about how she learned to have high self-esteem despite her low dowry is a SNL sketch that should have happened back when Oprah's show was still on.
posted by orange swan at 9:57 AM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Not having seen the show, I can't help but to think that it doesn't sound all that different from any other gawk fest aimed at us first worlders. Even well intentioned shows like the Vanguard Toilet Crisis episode that's been mentioned on MF before. Replace the hipster host with Oprah, and you have your Mom's Vanguard.
posted by 2N2222 at 9:58 AM on July 23, 2012


What gets me is that all of you have an Indian/desi friend/coworker/neighbour/doctor/professor and whatnot and know way more than Oprah seemingly does in 2012 about Indians. Its not like there aren't any in teh USA... what's that street in Chicago called again?
posted by infini at 10:01 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, infini, that's why I don't buy that she's this innocent trying to learn a new culture. Indian culture really isn't all that separate or foreign from many Western cultures in a lot of ways, unless you're intentionally trying not to understand. I didn't watch the show but the comments pulled in for the article are pretty irritating. Also the one about ALL Indian women living with inlaws. All of anyone anywhere does not do everything the exact same way, and even more so when you're talking about a country of one billion.
posted by sweetkid at 10:08 AM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Protip: avoid opening your conversation with an Indian about how you want to visit the Taj Mahal. It was built by Muslims, which account for 0.14 billion out of India's 1.24 billion population. Chances are the person you talk to won't appreciate your primary interest being one that doesn't represent the majority of the Indian populace.

Eh. The Taj Mahal is the most iconic building in India for pretty much everyone, and if it weren't a source of national pride I doubt it'd be the landing image for national tourism campaign. It's like saying the Statue of Liberty doesn't represent America since only 8.3% of U.S. citizens have French ancestry.
posted by psoas at 10:15 AM on July 23, 2012 [10 favorites]


infini: "Its not like there aren't any in teh USA... what's that street in Chicago called again?"

Lake Shore Drive? Michigan Ave? Addison Street?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:17 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's kind of complicated though -- for people living in the West of the country, say, anything up North is almost like another country. It's not really like the US in that way -- the states in India are more separated by culture and language.
posted by sweetkid at 10:18 AM on July 23, 2012


I suspect that a big part of the popularity of Oprah (and, indeed, the viability of Mitt Romney as a Presidential candidate) owes to the unspoken desire of millions of Americans to have enough money to act like clueless, privileged, selfish jerks and let their entourage pick up the pieces.

Now, I don't think people genuinely think "hey, I'd love to be a complete jerk." But I think the way Oprah, Romney, Trump, and so many other media bazillionaires act is a symbol of a level of financial security that Americans covet, in contrast to the insecurity that they experience in their own lives, where an unexpected illness, job loss, or other very minor personal disaster could completely ruin them and change their quality of life so drastically as to threaten their very ability to operate in mainstream society.

We don't look at Oprah and Mitt and think "I want to be like them." We think "I would be so much better at being rich than they are."
posted by The World Famous at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2012 [11 favorites]



infini: "Its not like there aren't any in teh USA... what's that street in Chicago called again?"

Lake Shore Drive? Michigan Ave? Addison Street?


Maybe Devon Avenue.
posted by sweetkid at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Middle America?
posted by Sailormom at 12:22 PM


The Middle Class, as a general thing. But "class" usually means economic status so "Middle America" is more emphasis on the social side. Rich people can be part of Middle America, like Oprah. It's characterized by the "American Dream" (you can achieve anything with the right attitude and hard work). Oprah is the living embodiment but it's laughable to see it contrasted with the slums of Mumbai, I guess is the point of the article.
posted by stbalbach at 10:23 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


We need to get Thomas Friedman in there to tell us the real story.

Oh, he's already been there. All due respect to Oprah, but I don't think she could ever match Thomas Friedman's historic meeting with Nandan Nilekani of Infosys for pure arrogance and ignorance. Here is the column that eventually spawned The World is Flat, and it contains what remains the single least accurate clause written about India in the history of American letters:

India, a country with few natural resources and a terrible climate

Read that twice. And again. One more time. "India, a country with few natural resources and a terrible climate." Breathtaking, isn't it? He's talking about India. As in the British East India Trading Company. As in the Mughal empire, from which we derived the term mogul. As in the Spice Coast. As in Basmati rice and Darjeeling tea. As in the place black pepper and cashews and mangos originally come from. As in the Himalayas, the Ganges, the jungle of the Jungle Book, the Ghats, the tropical backwaters.

Every now and then I fall into a lazy reverential lull about big-time mainstream media outlets like the New York Times. And then I remember that they published the phrase "India, a country with few natural resources and a terrible climate," and the column that phrase was in got turned into a runaway bestseller, and I remember that there's nothing particularly meritocratic about journalism.
posted by gompa at 10:24 AM on July 23, 2012 [62 favorites]


Rhymes with "Shove-on," before anyone else embarrasses themselves like I did lo those many years ago.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:25 AM on July 23, 2012


Ooh, I meant "shove-ON." Carry on.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:26 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"*Watches American eat greasy pizza and gloopy burger with hands, assumes haughty British superiority smirk, polishes silver cutlery, orders an Indian.*"

Nobody likes a smug cannibal.
posted by Eideteker at 10:30 AM on July 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I like a smug cannibal.
posted by The World Famous at 10:33 AM on July 23, 2012


gompa... thank you.

Reminds me of the tons of silver ingots right now being salvaged from a ship on its way to the Uk from India back in the day - that natural resource, the Koh-i-Noor adorning Her Majesty's crown among others.

Any wonder the whole article is in the tone that it is? It showed up flying around my social media mostly being linked to by journalists and writers and media folks.
posted by infini at 10:35 AM on July 23, 2012


“So I hear some people in India STILL eat with their hands”.

I'm not Indian, but I eat Indian food with my hands (and tasty, tasty naan) - also Ethiopian. Everyone knows that it tastes better that way.
posted by jb at 10:40 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was built by Muslims, which account for 0.14 billion out of India's 1.24 billion population.

As was much of what we call Indian cuisine, Indian music, Indian architecture, etc. Even the Hindi language is technically Hindi/Urdu.
posted by goethean at 10:46 AM on July 23, 2012


euphorb: Generous now maybe, but when she was on Baltimore TV in the early 80's, she didn't tip her evening paperboy. I'm still waiting!

Do you still want your two dollars?
Maybe she can pay him when she gets the $40.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:48 AM on July 23, 2012


It was built by Muslims, which account for 0.14 billion out of India's 1.24 billion population.

As was much of what we call Indian cuisine, Indian music, Indian architecture, etc. Even the Hindi language is technically Hindi/Urdu.


Yeah, for the record, I've never once heard of non-Muslim Indians resenting a Taj Mahal pilgrimage. It's much more national icon than religious symbol. Even the crazed Shiv Sena Hindustan-uber-alles types don't target the Taj with their brickbats.

(Also, for the record, the bulk of what the world considers Indian music is Hindu or Sikh devotional music or derived from those traditions.)
posted by gompa at 10:54 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


She was many white Americans' first black friend. For what that's worth.

I find something about this statement and its follow-ups unsettling given that Ms. Winfrey owes much of her fame and fortune to connecting with white women and given the divide between black women and white women as commented on by everybody from Sojourner Truth to bell hooks to Alice Walker to the black women who raised me and those with whom I am friends.

I don't think it's bad if she's someone's first black friend. I've been the first black friend to a number of people; the first black man some women have dated. So why this is something that be can said in scorn to a person -- on either side of the relationship -- is a puzzle to me.

Beyond that, I think it's worth knowing more about Oprah's history than that she lived in abject poverty for a portion of it. She overcame a lot to get to where she is. Her wikipedia article is a good place to start.

Finally, despite the author's claims to the contrary, I'd bet there's nothing Oprah could have done that wouldn't have resulted in contempt and derision. Could she have handled it better? Sure. Is she the Worst. Person. Visiting. India. EvAR.?11!1 No friggin' way.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:06 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows that it tastes better that way.

Washing your hands removes some of the flavor.

Joking aside, I don't see why so many people seem to think using silverware is more civilized or better.

And the idea that anyone could describe India as having no natural resources is beyond odd.
posted by Forktine at 11:08 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: Myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche.

Damn right.
posted by gauche at 11:12 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would completely watch a show where a family of Bombay slum dwellers go to Oprahs house in Chicago and ask her isn't it sad and lonely to have such a giant space with no one else to share it with?
posted by Keith Talent at 11:20 AM on July 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


Someone should publish a glossy coffee-table book about her trip called Imbeciles Abroad.

I'm packaging up my travel photos right now!
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 11:25 AM on July 23, 2012


LPT: Eat cheetos with chopsticks so you don't get covered with orange cheeze dust. Works for doritos too.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:28 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd bet there's nothing Oprah could have done that wouldn't have resulted in contempt and derision. Could she have handled it better? Sure. Is she the Worst. Person. Visiting. India. EvAR.?11!1 No friggin' way.

Someone mentioned above Oprah's disproportionate influence and voice across "middle America" or whatever label you wish to use. There's a difference and a responsibility that comes along with the reach adn volume of one's voice. This is 2012. Media isn't one is to many printed matter lagging behind in time while spreading around the world anymore. This is irresponsible representation of a country/culture that can't be pretended around anymore, the days of charming snakes and walking elephants is long gone.
posted by infini at 11:29 AM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Forktine: "Joking aside, I don't see why so many people seem to think using silverware is more civilized or better. "

Eponysterical.

Seriously, it seems better because you don't have grease all over your fingers at the end. And it makes it easier to eat really hot foods, hold meat for cutting, etc. I'm not saying it's more civilized by any means, but I think, at least with some foods, it has certain advantages.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:33 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Finally, despite the author's claims to the contrary, I'd bet there's nothing Oprah could have done that wouldn't have resulted in contempt and derision.

The frustration comes more from the fact that I'm picturing MOST people seeing something like this and thinking, "ah, all women in India live with their inlaws, and it's so weird to eat with your hands and all Indians have a peaceful otherwordly joy about them" because that's the narrative we hear so often.

That's why it's important to hear from an informed opposition.
posted by sweetkid at 11:34 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


And it makes it easier to eat really hot foods, hold meat for cutting,

Naan, roti, paratha, puri and I have no idea how the South Indians do it with rice.
posted by infini at 11:36 AM on July 23, 2012


Naan, roti, paratha, puri and I have no idea how the South Indians do it with rice.

Forgive my culinary ignorance. I've never been to India, and I assume that the experience of eating Indian food at restaurants in the United States is far from "authentic." But it has always appeared to me that the meat was cut using some sort of knife before being served. Do they just tear it up with their hands in India, or do they use cutlery at some point in the process?
posted by The World Famous at 11:42 AM on July 23, 2012


OK, having watched the episode this article is written about, I have to say, I found much less to be outraged over and the article a bit bullshitty. Why? Because Oprah basically was my Mom touring Mumbai in the video. I can accept that Oprah can, and probably does, know much more about India than she lets on. But the show makes her look like an ignorant tourist, just like my Mom would be. Just like I would be. And just like she really is, regardless how much prepping she might have done for the trip. If there was anything uncomfortable about watching the segment, it's that I found myself looking in the mirror. Oprah asks the dumb questions that I would have had, but probably been too embarrassed to ask. As expected, she tends to dwell on the inspirational aspect. She interviews the family dealing with poverty the best way they can. Parents working to give their kids more than they had, and really looking quite hopeful and determined to make it happen.

Myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche describes not only Oprah, but her intended audience. That seems intentional, and to pretend otherwise would be absurd. However, I get the feeling myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche is a state that Oprah seeks to help her audience escape.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:44 AM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


You are not an animal, use a tool.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:48 AM on July 23, 2012


infini: "And it makes it easier to eat really hot foods, hold meat for cutting,

Naan, roti, paratha, puri and I have no idea how the South Indians do it with rice.
"

Right, okay, but after I eat naan, I still feel like I have stuff on my fingers, in a way I don't when I use a knife and fork. Again, not saying it's superior, not saying it's maybe not overly fastidious, just saying that I see the rationale.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:48 AM on July 23, 2012


But it has always appeared to me that the meat was cut using some sort of knife before being served. Do they just tear it up with their hands in India, or do they use cutlery at some point in the process?

They're talking about eating with their hands, not cooking with their hands.
posted by sweetkid at 11:50 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're talking about eating with their hands, not cooking with their hands.

Well, sure, but pointing out that it's easy to eat a steak without a fork and knife as long as somebody cuts it up for you first is sort of silly.
posted by The World Famous at 11:55 AM on July 23, 2012


What? I don't understand what you mean by that. An Indian person eating, like, a steak would likely eat it with a knife and fork.
posted by sweetkid at 11:59 AM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]




You are not an animal, use a tool.

You missed the first few minutes of 2001, right?
posted by fixedgear at 12:00 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


You are not an animal, use a tool.

Damn those madly copulating procreating billion lazy Hindoos....
posted by infini at 12:01 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


all I know is that I was once watching a food show about a Indian-British chef, and she was saying how her mum said that you always had to eat Indian food with your hands, because the warmth of your hands was better for the flavour than cold stainless steel -

and since then, I've always eaten with my hands as well as silverware (we always have rice and not enough naan), and it really does taste better from hands than from a fork.
posted by jb at 12:06 PM on July 23, 2012


...she's just doing her job, acting as a proxy for her audience...

And considering how stone cold ignorant her audience is, she's doing a superlative job.
posted by Splunge at 12:07 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I read a comment not too long ago (perhaps in another thread here) which described Oprah as the closest thing America's got to royalty. She didn't have to prove it like this.
posted by Spatch at 12:14 PM on July 23, 2012


"Eating with utensils is like making love through an interpreter."
posted by Egg Shen at 12:14 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


because the warmth of your hands was better for the flavour than cold stainless steel

Wait. Are people keeping their stainless cutlery in the freezer or otherwise treating it such that it remains cold, rather than being at room temperature or, when eating food, fairly closely matching the temperature of the food? Is this like the wiping standing up thing, where millions of people are doing something I've never even heard of before?
posted by The World Famous at 12:15 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


How does one wipe sitting down without dipping the back of the hand in dirty water? How is there room to even squeeze your hand down into the seat hole along with the bum and bits?

Maybe those are questions better AskMe'd.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 12:23 PM on July 23, 2012


Ice Cream Socialist: Read this.
posted by The World Famous at 12:27 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy crap this is awesome! Thanks, The World Famous.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 12:33 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen the episode, so I can't defend Oprah but the artice came across as having a serious chip on it's shoulder. I get the feeling nothing Oprah could have done would have passed muster.
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:56 PM on July 23, 2012


This version of Oprah was, for me, most odious during her sign-off week when she visited Ralph Lauren-Lipschitz's Colorado ranch -- a place she had "dreamed" of visiting and finally got to. I was watching alone, and was writhing in embarrassment and absolutely mortified by her slobbering, unself-conscious groveling at his faux-Western altar to consumerism. I mean, I like nice stuff as much as the next person but she was flipping the fuck out over his land, his fence, his house, his kids, his sheets, his freakin' teepees (yes, teepees). It was the most craven display of envy I've ever seen. Whereas in the past I may have stopped and checked out what she was on about, now I just click past her wherever she is. Ugh and done. Why can't people just bow out gracefully?
posted by thinkpiece at 12:56 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


NYT: Mind Your Manners - Eat With Your Hands

“'Eating with the hands evokes great emotion,' she said. 'It kindles something very warm and gentle and caressing. Using a fork is unthinkable in traditional Indian eating. It is almost like a weapon.'"

"...it heightens the sensual connection to food and softens the formality of fine dining."

"'You eat with conviction and passion when using your hands,' Mr. Choi said."
posted by naju at 1:04 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


One aspect that hasn't been addressed so far is the reason for Oprah's visit to India. She came to Australia (was it last year?) to promote Australia as a tourism destination to Americans. Australian government (through Tourism Australia) actually spent money on the junket, and it was a big issue in terms of whether the tax payers should have funded it partly or whether they got their money's worth. I haven't seen any such discussion around her trip to India.

As to her remarks about India etc., well, I know someone who hosts American tourists at her home (in New Delhi) for a home-cooker meal and a cooking demonstration (she has a tie-up with some tourism agencies). Apparently some tourists want to see how a middle-class Indian family lives. I have attended a few of those. It is mostly older, white Americans traveling the world after retirement. Some of their comments/questions are a bit ignorant, but for most part those folks seem to have been a pretty good advertisement for America. I don't recall any of their behaviour reaching Oprah-level ignorance/idiocy.

But, I also think that the article has gone a bit overboard.

There is no need for any barbs about visiting Taj Mahal. It is a fantastic monument that deserves a visit if you go to India. I lived in a town not very far from Agra for a few years, and visited it every time we had relatives visiting us. I must have seen it more than 10 times, and it always felt amazing.

Nothing wrong with visiting a slum with Shantaram either. Whatever his literary shortcomings, the dude lived there for a long time and seems to continue to help around even today. Not to forget that given his life, he probably has more in common with them than the author of the article. There is no reason why you have to have an Indian guide to visit an Indian place.

And sure, not ALL Indian families are joint families, but plenty of them are. The author seems to suffer from a problem that many Indian English commenters suffer from - they think that their particular English-speaking urban families are representative of India to a significant degree. Not true at all. They form less than 1% of India and are nowhere close to being representative.
posted by vidur at 1:08 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


vidur, the 'backlash' has primarily been those active in the Indian media - thus a niche in their own right. Here's a current tweet,

Right now, the Indian blogosphere has turned into Tom Cruise and is treating Oprah like a couch.

posted by infini at 1:23 PM on July 23, 2012


There was a lot about this article that rubbed me the wrong way. I haven't seen the show and I'm sure Oprah was rather annoying/ill-informed. At the same time, upper-middle class Indians really have a chip on their shoulder about Western depictions of India that are not totally favorable/ don't show all the right images of India's boom. Any time Westerners or even Indians make any attempt to engage with the truly staggering levels of poverty (68.7 % of Indians still live on less than $2 a day!) it's dismissed as poverty tourism or poverty porn. Frankly, why isn't asking that poor family if they feel cramped in their living quarters a fair question? IMO, it's a humanizing question and one that most middle and upper class Indians wouldn't think to ask, because they have internally accepted that such people just don't deserve the same quality of life that they do. Why not apply the same standards to the poor's living quarters as we would apply to our own?
All the children go to school, and were extremely well-mannered and seemed happy and quite carefree like children their age are meant to be. They didn’t seem to realise that their home was smaller than the homes of others. Or that their father didn’t earn as much as he could.
Don't worry, everything is just fine here, everyone's happy, nothing to see here. That's how that reads to me.
posted by peacheater at 1:28 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


All the children go to school, and were extremely well-mannered and seemed happy and quite carefree like children their age are meant to be. They didn’t seem to realise that their home was smaller than the homes of others. Or that their father didn’t earn as much as he could.
Don't worry, everything is just fine here, everyone's happy, nothing to see here. That's how that reads to me.


Yeah, I see your point with that. Quite a bit of projection on the author's part.

However, 99.99% of anything I see about India is all about poverty and oppression of women and the light that shines through everyone despite their sad lot which does seem like 'poverty porn' or whatever you want to call it, to me. I agree that every story told doesn't have to be about the boom, but there are more stories to tell. I saw more of them when I lived in London, unsurprisingly.
posted by sweetkid at 1:33 PM on July 23, 2012


At the same time, upper-middle class Indians really have a chip on their shoulder about Western depictions of India that are not totally favorable/ don't show all the right images of India's boom.

So, so true. I am not sure if you saw any Indian coverage of the Higgs-Boson discovery, but the Indian media was all over it. And by that, I meant that they complained about Satyendra Nath Bose not being given adequate credit by the Evil Conspiring Racist Western Media.
Most Indians had not heard of Satyendra Bose before the Higgs particle brought him back from oblivion, or what exactly he did, yet they lamented that the world had much praise for Higgs but not for Bose. The fact is that the world, through the British theoretical physicist, Paul Dirac, had honoured Bose long ago by naming an entire class of elementary particles—bosons—after Bose. It must be a matter of great national relief that the name of the eminent Indian scientist was Satyendra Bose and not Satyendra More.
When a Kalpana Chawla or a Sunita Williams goes to space, so does the Indian upper middle class. When a kid in Germany is supposed to have proven some theorem or the other, the entire Indian upper middle class basks in reflected glory. But when a poor slum-dweller, living in India under the Indian system, is discussed on TV, that is somehow not considered to be reflective of India. You can't have one and not the other. I don't know what it should be called, but there is some sort of collective cognitive bias at play among the Indian upper middle class.

Almost everything that the Westerners see about India is already filtered through the prism of this rich class of Indians - for the simple reason that the rest of India doesn't tell its stories in English. But that's not enough apparently.
posted by vidur at 1:44 PM on July 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


The problem with India is that its an artificial construct like the EU. In fact, that's probably the closest, best analogy for the fact that each region has its own cuisine, language, culture and even style of wearing the sari.

Thus any slice of it will offend someone, and that is another problem with India ;p
posted by infini at 1:49 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem with India is that its an artificial construct like the EU. In fact, that's probably the closest, best analogy for the fact that each region has its own cuisine, language, culture and even style of wearing the sari.

I have used that analogy often, but in the opposite direction. EU has been trying to become like India, to have a federal government with a common defense, foreign, monetary and fiscal policies.

Incidentally, I don't find India an "artificial construct" at all. It is a construct that emerged out of shared colonial past, but I find no reason to prize one construct (language, cuisine etc.) over another. For most part, Indians don't seem to mind India's construction. At least not any more than people in other countries mind their own national structures.
posted by vidur at 1:58 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


However, 99.99% of anything I see about India is all about poverty and oppression of women and the light that shines through everyone despite their sad lot which does seem like 'poverty porn' or whatever you want to call it, to me. I agree that every story told doesn't have to be about the boom, but there are more stories to tell.

Can it be denied that poverty and oppression of women are issues that resonate quite well with outsiders? Or MeFites? Can one be blamed for covering the issues for an american audience?

FWIW, Oprah's interview with the poor family isn't about the misery, but about the hope. They emphasize how important it is for them to get their daughters educated, and indeed, their charming eldest daughter is quite articulate in English and serves as translator when her parents' English falters.

The eat-with-your-hands segment comes when Oprah is joins three generations of a relatively prosperous family for a meal. She plays the ignorant outsider, because she is the ignorant outsider, and her hosts are very gracious in demonstrating their cuisine and customs.

We learn that the families both rich and poor are the product of arranged marriages.

She continues shopping for a sari, and visiting some celebrity level Indians, so we get a broader picture of India, making it look, in many ways, not all that alien to American viewers.

The show feels like a fairly typical travel show, with Oprah. It really didn't seem any worse than Globetrekker, CurrentTV/Vanguard, or those Michael Palin shows.
posted by 2N2222 at 2:14 PM on July 23, 2012


Incidentally, I don't find India an "artificial construct" at all.

Was referencing this book, The Idea of India by Sunil Khilnani. (Review by Chitra Divakaruni)


Men and women who have shaped history have often done so because of their obsession with an idea, a vision, a belief in a possibility. Foremost among such ideas has been the idea of India, at once a mythic and philosophic construct as well as a literal space which, once arrived at, offers challenges and realities that are impossible to ignore. The many, often opposed, ideas of what India may be have inspired figures as diverse as Alexander, Qutb-ud-Din, Columbus, Lord Curzon, Max Mueller, Rudyard Kipling and Francesco Clemente to undertake journeys across the world. The vision of India extends from dream to nightmare. It has elicited the lyricism of a patriotic Rabindranath Tagore and the symbolism of an admiring William Butler Yeats. It has called forth the bitter indictment of social practices from a John Strachey and a Nirad Chaudhuri. And in their complex diversity and insistence that each Indian has within him or her a private notion of Indianness, the political ideas of India have confounded India's own post-independence leaders, from Nehru to Indira Gandhi to Deve Gowda.


You may be closer than you think in your correlation with the EU.
posted by infini at 2:32 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really want to see her next episode, where she visits the Mitt Romney family and, upon observing them eating hamburgers or something at a family BBQ, asks: "You still eat with your hands?" To which Ann Romney responds: "Only on camera."
posted by The World Famous at 2:42 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I like a smug cannibal."

Lightly seasoned?
posted by Eideteker at 3:10 PM on July 23, 2012


*Watches American eat greasy pizza and gloopy burger with hands, assumes haughty British superiority smirk, polishes silver cutlery, orders an Indian.*

I WOULD LIKE TO EAT A "CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA" WITH YOU. DO THEY MAKE IT IN SANDWICH FORM?
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:38 PM on July 23, 2012


(we always have rice and not enough naan)

The solution to this problem is always to get more naan. Naan is like money and sex; some is good, but more is usually even better.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:46 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Fucking chicken tikka masala, I would eat it 3 meals a day if I could. I would even eat it with my hands if I had to.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:08 PM on July 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Was referencing this book, The Idea of India by Sunil Khilnani. (Review by Chitra Divakaruni)

Thanks. I haven't read the book, but it sounds interesting. The review says that the book's thesis is that the central idea behind modern India is "the idea of democracy". I can't really argue against that, considering that the book is "more of an academic study than a book for a lay audience", and I am quite certain I am pretty lay.

My take on my home country has been influenced by my travels around the country (and a fair bit abroad in the last decade), and does not really have any kind of academic backing. I find EU-with-a-federal-government to be the analogy that comes closest to explaining India abroad.
posted by vidur at 4:30 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just had Chicken Tikka Masala, Garlic Naan and Samosas. I am so glad Oprah wasn't here to witness that.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:01 PM on July 23, 2012


vidur, it is an easier read than claimed, particularly for any who have experienced the dichotomies and the contradictions and understand at the gut level how they all manage to co-exist. Highly recommend. I remember it still after so many years.

Agree on Eu with fed govt, use it myself.
posted by infini at 5:07 PM on July 23, 2012


Another book that is a much easier read (though parts might just grate on you) is Pavan K Varma's Being India or that other fellow's The Karma of Brown Folk (more related to the diaspora)
posted by infini at 5:08 PM on July 23, 2012


The solution to this problem is always to get more naan. Naan is like money and sex; some is good, but more is usually even better.

I agree - but I'm not always the person who gets to order.

my latest love are dosas. I don't know how I lived before learning of them.

but I also really like some injera wrapped around kitfo.
posted by jb at 5:11 PM on July 23, 2012


Try a rava masala dosa.
posted by infini at 5:17 PM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Another book that is a much easier read (though parts might just grate on you) is Pavan K Varma's Being India or that other fellow's The Karma of Brown Folk (more related to the diaspora)

The PKV book, I didn't like much. Will have to look up the other one.

And FFS, people, stop talking about food. Lunch is still 2 hours away!
posted by vidur at 5:33 PM on July 23, 2012


No, no no, a rava masala dosa is 8 days and a continent away. Waits.
posted by infini at 5:47 PM on July 23, 2012


dosas are one block away from me. I don't think they do rava dosa, but they do the regular fermented kind, and they are awesome enough. as for kitfo, there are about 3 Ethiopian restaurants within a few blocks, but the best is 1/2 walk away.

I love living in a multicultural city.
posted by jb at 5:56 PM on July 23, 2012


Forgive my culinary ignorance. I've never been to India, and I assume that the experience of eating Indian food at restaurants in the United States is far from "authentic." But it has always appeared to me that the meat was cut using some sort of knife before being served. Do they just tear it up with their hands in India, or do they use cutlery at some point in the process?

The World Famous, where the food is intended to be eaten with the hands, the components of the dishes are generally bite-sized when served. So you, for example, tear of a piece of naan (soft flat bread), grab a chunk of meat, sop up some sauce, and eat. No meat cutting required.

Same deal with South East Asian food that is customarily eaten with chopsticks. Dumplings? Bite-sized. Stirfries? All chopped up in small bits, read for you to grab with your chopsticks. Same principle.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:56 PM on July 23, 2012


And FFS, people, stop talking about food. Lunch is still 2 hours away!

I know! And the nearest decent masala dosa is like, 30km from here. Damn it!
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:57 PM on July 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unless its Chilli Crab or crab curry in which case they tie a bib around your neck. And provide those packs of wet tissues.
posted by infini at 6:08 PM on July 23, 2012


I know! And the nearest decent masala dosa is like, 30km from here. Damn it!

Dosa House in Waitara? Because that is indeed awesome, and 25km from where I am, and so totally not workable right now.
posted by vidur at 6:14 PM on July 23, 2012


I'm kinda feeling sorry for Oprah right now. Cold chutney, hot sambhar, crinkly dosa...
posted by infini at 6:16 PM on July 23, 2012


I have no idea how the South Indians do it with rice.

Form a ball, cradle it in the four fingers and then flick it into your mouth with your thumb.
posted by BinGregory at 6:43 PM on July 23, 2012


Dosa House in Waitara? Because that is indeed awesome, and 25km from where I am, and so totally not workable right now.

Actually, I was thinking Woodlands in Liverpool. But either way, too far from me right now.

[sadface]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:44 PM on July 23, 2012


Of course, there are those who mash their rice and curry together in the palms of their hands first first, rather than using the tips of their fingers, but I would never dream of consorting with those sort of people.
posted by BinGregory at 6:49 PM on July 23, 2012


Before him, Nat Cole. Before him, Bill Robinson.

And now, Obama. Is it because of the soothing presence of the letter 'o' in their last names?
posted by Apocryphon at 9:05 PM on July 23, 2012


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