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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Do you find any relation between these two?

    There are many customs and traditions in different places and in a big country like India every region has its own customs. There is a way of performing such customs and if you think of it you will find there are reasons behind all such practices. In West Bengal, if you are an invitee in a marriage reception or any social function where a meal is served you will find a few seniors of the family hosting the occasions will go to the hall where meal is served and request the invitees with folded hands to have the food in sufficient amount without any inhibition. This is a wonderful gesture of hospitality. As long as this remains a request it's good. But in a few cases, you may find the hosts pleading with some invitees to have more. There may be a few people in the family too who will coax you to have more food even if they invite you to their homes. I have observed certain aspects associated with this nature of pleading and coaxing. These people try to impose things on you in many ways. People may not take it too seriously as long as it is limited to having foods but if they try to impose their beliefs on you then the problem starts. If they are around you, you need to take their approval before trying anything new.

    Members, do you think there is any relation between these activities of coaxing you to have more food and imposing beliefs on you?
  • #669038
    That's Indian hospitality defined for you. I do not like the practice. I know the size of my stomach and can eat only so much. It is fine as long as it is confined to coaxing and pleading, it is a verbal persuasion, you can always refuse. What is irritating is when people surreptitiously put food on your plate, despite your refusal. They become offended if you do not eat the extra food at their bidding.

    Coming to the next part of your post, I do not allow people to take advantage of me. I firmly stand my ground and do as I please. The habit of forcing their views on others is probably engrained in some people and it is observed more in the 'seniors' in the family and society. They are not just opinionated they also expect and demand compliance.

    'A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak' - Micheal Garrett Marino

  • #669043
    It was a practice then. Now it not there much. It is not right to compel a guest to eat more and suffer. I serve my guests but don't force them to eat more and more. I would simply ask them "How is the food? but never force them to overeat. Similarly, I too don't try to eat more but politely avoid it by saying "Good, Thanks."
    No life without Sun

  • #669052
    As a host they are requesting the guests to take meals as much as they can is OK. Eventhough they do that we will not eat more than what we can eat. But in some cases they add material t our material forcibly and we will be forced to leave it in the plate. That will be a waste of resources and like this in many occasions a lot of food items are becoming waste. Nowadays the self service system has come. So we need not worry and we can eat whatever we want and whatever we can eat.
    Forcing their ideas on the other people is not good. Everybody will have their own individuality and they know what to do and what not to do. Even though someone tries to influence us we should not get into their loop unless and otherwise we feel what they are advocating is good and iwe feel we can accept that.

    always confident

  • #669062
    I don't find a relation between coaxing to have food and imposing beliefs. The first one, hosts encouraging you to have more food is part of the social dynamics in any family function or a good event. This implies that the hosts really care about you and value your presence. There is no harm in it, I've been to homes wherein the senior grandfather or grandmother will literally force feed the newly wed couples. About the second practice of imposing one's beliefs and views on others, people try but I politely decline to get carried away and ignore them.

  • #669070
    The practice mentioned by the author is a typical Bengali practice and has remained into existence for more than two hundreds of years. This has developed from the adage" Atithi Narayan", i.e., ''A guest is a form of Lord Vishnu''. But some people force the guests to over-eat.

    However, no one extends this custom to force his/her belief/value on others.

    "Khamosh rahoon toh mushqil hai; Keh doon toh shiquayat hoti hain" (It is difficult to remain silent; But when I open up, they start complaining.)

  • #669071
    In earlier times there was this practice not only during functions but also during taking meals in each other's house also. I remember one of my aunts was insisting and forcing us so much to take more food that we were feeling irritated by her ways. Now these practices have diminished much but in some areas because of local customs and habits they might be prevalent. I personally do not like and approve such behaviour. It is really annoying sometimes in such a situation.
    Knowledge is power.

  • #669073
    I don't think there is a relation between the two simply because coaxing is different from imposing. To impose something has an element of force and power in it while coaxing is more of gentle persuasion. One has a negative shade while the other is on a positive note.

    Gently persuading someone to have more food indicates care and is generally considered to be the trait of a good host. But again, as Juana has pointed out, when the persuasion crosses the limit and food is forcibly served, it can amount to be imposing. Coaxing our guests to go for one more serving or to try a particular dish is a common custom and the reason behind the same is to ensure that the guest does not feel out of place and he feels that he has been cared for.

    Imposing a belief, according to me, is totally unacceptable. Belief is something personal and is related to one as an individual. Forcing someone to change his belief for whatever reasons amounts to encroaching the freedom of an individual especially when it is done without allowing him sufficient space or a choice.

    'It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it'. -Aristotle

  • #669082
    India is known for hospitality and we all are familiar with the slogan "Atithi devo bhava". The custom still follows of seeing that the guest is satisfied with their food and caring. Now a days as self service and buffet system is common, cajolery is less. Many people has a habit of eating less at function or at others house, may be due to their habit of self examination and need to be compelled to have more. For such person, if not coaxed, won't have but for others, it's disturbing.
    Now, coming to the second point raised about imposing customs and traditions, Some can be followed but not all. Everyone has their own way of how they will do a thing or why he cannot do. Some can be personnel and some can be belief. Everyone needs to understand this and give primacy.

    “Each day provides its own gifts.” —Marcus Aurelius

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