Are the old food abnd hygiene habits coming back?A couple of days ago, a friend of mine rang up from Pune. Yes, he belongs to Salem, but his parents have settled down for decades in that city. And on the advice of his aged mother who lives in her native village, he has started consuming fermented rice with curd. The cooked rice is soaked in water, and allowed to ferment the previous night. He would drain out the water, take the rice and then add curd to it. His wife had gone to Chennai and somehow managed to bring him the small mango pickle ( called vadu mangai in Tamil ) which is a good side dish for the curd rice in the morning. This age-old practice is still there in many parts of Tamil Nadu. It cools down the body and the fermented cooked rice has some antibodies that increase immunity. Or so, one is still told.
Well, according to him, even his Maharashtrian neighbors are doing the same. Elsewhere, people are pouring fresh neem leaves into the water, boiling the same and washing their hands regularly. Decades ago, I had seen it in Kerala in some homes.
Are we going back to old food and hygiene habits? There is nothing called right or wrong. Today, we need immunity of a very tall order. Perhaps there is some meaning in what our forefathers did.