scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: Table manners
Tue Jun 27 2000 - 09:55:18 CDT
But certain ethnic groups DO mix all their food together, with their bare
hand, before eating it. If the Scout belongs to one of those groups,
what do you do then?
The "When in Rome.." applies here. For example, it is amazingly rude to use
your left hand when eating in the Arab world. In desert areas with little or
no water for sanitation, the left hand is reserved for personal hygiene and
as such is not welcome in the communal bowl. This is actually why cutting off
the right hand is more than punishment for theft-- it banishes the culprit to
a solitary life because he cannot eat with others. So when one travels to
Saudi, one does not use one's left hand at table, whether or not one is a
member of the prevailing ethnic group.
This is when you teach the person about current manners in the culture in
which you sit. Certainly any religiously-based practice is probably respected
("You're not sacrificing that chicken here at table, are you, dear? Perhaps
it would be OK to do it out back of the dining hall...") but we are teaching
these kids things they may not learn at home all the time, and there's no
reason our culture's table manners can't be among them.
SA T47 Sandwich MA
Cape Cod & Islands Council
Abake MiSaNaKi Lodge #393
NSJ 1997 Nat'l Health & Safety and going in '01!