Wednesday, July 25, 2012

'I heard Indian people eat with their hands still' - Oprah puts her foot in her mouth

Let's be honest here, Oprah Winfrey loves to eat, that's obvious.
But eating with her hands is something she is disgusted by.

As a result she has started a uproar in India after she is heard asking whether Indian people still 'eat with their hands.'
Her thoughtless remark was uttered as she sat down to dine with the Somani family in Mumbai. (photo above)

While visiting the Somanis, an upper-middle-class family living in Mumbai, India, Oprah sits down for her first traditional Indian meal, and she is advised to eat with her right hand only.

According to Indian tradition, meals are not eaten with forks, knives and spoons.
It is also customary to eat only with your right hand, and use the left for moving food onto one's plate from a serving dish.

None of this matters to Oprah, as she dips the bread with her left hand.

Finally, in exasperation, Oprah gives up the one-handed eating altogether, saying: 'So I'm going to use both hands, or I’ll be here all night.'

Her remarks have drawn angry criticism from Indian citizens, who have roasted Oprah for her insensitivity to Indian customs and traditions.

"Myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche," wrote journalist Rajyasree Sen in a scathing review of the show posted by the India-based news service "This was Middle America at its best worst."
In an open letter to Oprah that appeared on, Rituparna Chatterjee, (U.S. Correspondent at The Economic Times) wrote: 'As a responsible public figure about to air a show that will be beamed across the world, you should have done your homework.'
The letter goes on: ‘Using our hands to eat is a well-established tradition and a fact none of us are ashamed of. Our economic distinction has nothing to do with it.
'A millionaire here eats the same way a pauper does. You have been to Asian nations. You should know that.'
In a statement, a rep for Winfrey's production company, HARPO, told E! News: "The intention of the program was to explore the beautiful culture and spirit of the country. We enjoyed the time we spent there and were touched by the people who so generously shared their stories for the show."