During my childhood days, it was common to have big get-togethers for any occasion, a festival or shraddha. During such gatherings, food was prepared in large quantities and served on plates and bowls made of leaves. Invitees were made to sit on the ground.
We kids were not into the habit of sitting on the ground and eating as we were habituated to a dining table. As a result, we found eating with our hands difficult and especially rice or semi-liquid items. Usually, no spoons were provided in such gatherings.
Once we went to a similar function, and we sat to eat food. I saw my brother refuse to eat many items such as rice, dal, or raita. I was surprised to see his behaviour. My grandfather, who was also serving the food, was also surprised to know that he refused to eat rice as he liked it a lot. So, one of our uncles got a little curious to see his behaviour and started interrogating him. To avoid further questions, he said that he does not eat rice at all.
After a few days, the same uncle came to our house, and while having food, he saw my brother eating rice. He had a sharp memory, and he started questioning my brother again. After making few excuses, when my brother saw that there was no escaping the uncle’s questions, he admitted that he did not eat rice in such gatherings as there were no spoons. Moreover, he had trouble eating such items with his hands sitting on the ground. He feared that he may spill the food item as the distance between the plate and mouth was more than the dining table.
Our uncle had a hearty laugh and appreciated my brother’s concern for his manners. From that time onwards, our uncle made sure that spoons were provided at such gatherings.