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Eating On A Banana Leaf
Hey friends, ” Have you ever eat your food on a banana leaf?”. If you have been born to or gone to South India, you would have eaten on a banana leaf, but if you haven’t been there, then maybe you would not have eaten on it. There are many benefits of eating on a banana leaf which many people don’t know.
Let’s discuss some benefits & etiquettes of eating on a banana leaf. We will also discuss some amazing facts about banana leaves.
Benefits Of Eating On A Banana Leaf
- Banana leaves are environmentally friendly and sustainable. After being used, the leaves are fed to animals or disposed of in a biodegradable manner. Hence, it is better than the disposable plates that harm us as well as the environment.
- Banana leaves contain antioxidants(polyphenols) that our body absorbs through contact with our food. These help build our immunity in many ways. While using banana leaves, it is tradition to sit on the ground in Sukhasana (cross-legged) posture. Hence, it helps in strengthening the spine and allowing for better digestion.
- They are cheaper than Aluminium or plastic disposables. Hence, banana leaves are easy to find and affordable to acquire for serving many people at large gatherings.
- This method of eating is also beneficial as banana leaves are large and allow for a variety of items to fit on one plate. Also, the leaf’s waxy layer is liquid-proof, convenient for many South Indian dishes like Rasam, Sambar, etc.
Etiquettes For Eating On A Banana Leaf
Proper etiquettes for eating on banana leaves are:
- To start a meal, water is sprayed on the leaf to allow the guest to clean it. Clean water is sprayed on the leaf after serving it to the guests. The guests can then wipe it out to remove the dirt from it.
- The top half( far from guests) of a banana leaf is dedicated to vegetables and curries, and the bottom half( near to guests) is for the rice or chapati. It is done to make it easy for the guests to eat chapati and rice.
- After the meal is completed, there are two ways to fold the leaf:
- Top to Bottom(Towards the guests): It indicates a happy occasion, and you wish to return soon ( weddings, birth, etc.)
- Bottom to Top(away from guests): It indicates a sad occasion, and you hope to not return under these circumstances in the future (Funerals, etc.)
Is It A Hindu Practice?
Banana leaves have been used in Southeast Asia some thousands of years ago. It has also been used by Hindus and Buddhists for decorating and other product-making purposes. While eating on banana leaves isn’t necessarily a religiously Hindu practice, it is a Hindu cultural practice as it is prevalent at temples, weddings, etc., especially in South India. As I have said that, it is a cultural practice and not a religious practice. Hence, everyone, irrespective of his religion, must try eating on a banana leaf. Although, in this modern world, people prefer to eat in steel and glass utensils. But, you must eat on a banana leaf at least once in your life to feel its benefits and appreciate our culture.
I hope this blog made you understand and learn why people eat on banana leaves and the benefits of eating on them.
Check out our other blog: How To Stop Putting Pressure On Yourself
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