Teaching your children table manners is racist

Dec 2007
51,591
38,357
Pennsylvania, USA
#11
Am I missing something? The text quoted in the OP doesn't even mention race or racism.

The message we need to send to our kids is that there are many different ways to eat food and that they’re all worthy of respect and acknowledgement. We need to show them that good manners can look quite different from table to table, particularly here in Canada. A great way to start is to ensure that there’s real cultural diversity in the menus served to kids in schools and daycare centres so that they can be exposed to a variety of cuisines and how to eat them. Learning how to properly use a knife and fork is very important, but so is learning how to squeeze a slippery dumpling between chopsticks and how to tear the perfect piece of naan with just one hand.
 
Dec 2007
51,591
38,357
Pennsylvania, USA
#14
@MichelleZ - As I mentioned in post #11, the quoted text says nothing whatsoever about "race" or "racism." What encouraged you to introduce the subject yourself, when the author you criticize clearly did not?

Edit - I went through the whole article - there's precious little said about race. However, I think that quoting this paragraph would have made more sense:

We shouldn’t be teaching kids that they’re not supposed to eat with their hands at all or that eating with cutlery is a more refined or sophisticated way to eat. Different people eat their food in different ways. My father’s instructions were very detailed, with a big focus on being tidy and efficient and maintaining Hindu customs around cleanliness and purity. There is a very mannered way to eat with your hands, and there are more than a billion people around the world who eat this way.
I see nothing wrong with this perspective. When I eat at Chinese and Japanese restaurants, I use chopsticks to the best of my ability. When I go to a rather good Moroccan restaurant in our area, I eat with my hands. All of these places have knives and forks available for those who request them. The article is basically saying that you shouldn't tell kids that it's always "wrong" to eat without silverware. Note the word "always" - makes a huge difference, and it mirrors the author's wording ("at all").
 
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Nov 2016
8,644
8,437
USA
#16
I don't buy into the racist jive, but I agree that we've had too much free-range child rearing.
Table manners are employed for a reason and not just to appear sophisticated. It's a matter of respect for others. That should be universal regardless of race.
I learned this the hard way in Morocco. They eat with their hands which I adapted to easily enough, but I'm left handed and I soon learned that eating with ones' left hand is a big no no. At one point as a guest at a family post-Ramadan meal (which was a big honor) the patriarch literally tapped my hand with a stern look as it reached in the communal feast. He didn't speak English, but in a very effective way he explained how you cannot eat with the hand that is used in bathroom endeavors. Makes sense.
I had heard of that. In that part of the world, one uses the right hand for eating and the left hand for bathroom functions. IIRC, that’s why in countries where they have (or still do) punish thieves with amputation, they amputate the right hand, thus making them social pariahs at dinner time.
 
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