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Left Side! Wrong Side!

Why do many Middle-Eastern and Asian cultures that eat with their hands leave their left hand on their lap while eating, not even using both hands to tear bread? Locals may be as embarrassed to tell you as you are to ask.

Out With It!

There’s no butts about it. I think you’ve figured out the answer already, you just got to be sure. And I want toilet you know that you’re probably right.

Both hands are used in post-excrementory cleanup, but the left hand takes the biggest punch, one for the team as it were.

For more detail, while keeping our dignity about it, see Squat and Splash! The fact is, while travelling, you may have no ulterior means to clean yourself, short of sacrificing clothing and clogging the pipes, than to adopt this method (unless it’s a pit-hole, in that case I guess you’re alright).

For the time being though, let’s go back to the subject of eating only with our right hand. Some locals don’t really connect their eating habits with their restroom habits unless they really think about it. Eating only with the right hand was how they were raised since infancy. And it’s not so much that their left hand is dirty either, it’s just respectful not to eat with or shake with something that frequents your back side. After all, you don’t gallantly present your underwear as a token handkerchief to a lady, do you?

So if we’re going to attempt to put down the knife and fork and use our hand, tie your left hand to your leg, because there’s nothing more embarrassing than wondering why you’re being stared at only to find your fingers from your left hand in your mouth.

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