Is Eating With Bare Hands Barbaric? Why Do Filipinos Love To Do It?

Kinawboy style of eating, goody or yucky?
posted on: Sunday, June 8, 2014
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Digital Agitator

Some races may be sophisticated with their eating habit but we Filipinos could just pick up any kind of food with our bare hands and put it inside our mouth like there’s no problem.

Yes. Bare hands. Unwashed hands.

It might sound dirty to foreigners and elite Filipinos like Kris Aquino but this method of eating is still widely practiced. We call it in Cebuano as kinawboy style or kinamot., art by
J. Honoridez aka Joan of Art

The practice of kinamot might have caused us to develop an “immunity” against some germs that live on the surface of our hands. I mean, when’s the last time you had a diarrhea when you used your bare hands when eating?

Are we just lazy to use spoon and fork to eat? It’s indeed easier to just pick up food, especially if it’s fried chicken. You can’t just use fork to tear the flesh apart. And it’s such a hassle to wash extra utensils after dinner.

Oftentimes, the dishes are just left there in the kitchen until mama and papa argue and use them to throw at each other in a romantic but fitful rage.

You can also immerse yourself in deep meditation while eating

We have practiced eating with bare hands for a very long time, from Lapu-Lapu to Maya and sir Chief’s twins, that doing it has become as natural as breathing. That no matter how greasy the dish is, we just wash our hands after and all is well.

Or maybe are we just so hungry all the time that the size of the spoon isn’t large enough for the space inside our mouth?

We aren’t the mahinhin type of race where eating slowly and chewing the food several times are the norm.

No. We are the type of people who would eat like we’re in an eating competition. That’s why restaurants with bottomless rice are a blockbuster hit among the Filipino patrons.

Some have criticized this ancient practice. Our hands are without a question, one of the dirtiest part of our body. They are used to touch virtually everything, from our genitals while peeing to paying the mamang driver with peso coins. Some say we look like a pig, shoving every handful of food inside our widely opened mouth. While others see it as plain barbaric and prehistoric.

We can’t really blame those sheltered people from being disgusted with us, but we’re just keeping this ancient tradition alive. What did we use to eat our food before the technologically-advanced Spanish introduced cuchara and tenedor?

Would you even use fork in a race to get the best part of the lechon? Wouldn’t you enjoy your food more if you can feel it with all your five senses?

Rich or poor, we Filipinos will always use bare hands from time to time when eating.

Just make sure to observe proper etiquette. You wouldn’t want to use your bare hands when having a lunch at a restaurant.

While we’re at it I would like to extend my condolences to my rich friend who suffered from diarrhea after eating with bare hands.

Rich kid problem indeed.