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learning how to eat with my hands

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

I forever will eat with my hands like my ancestors did.

I will never forget the first time I really ate with my hands— like truly ate with my hands.

I was a first year staying with a new friend from college and her family in new york, and her cousin presented us with fish and couscous on a platter to share. I’d been there for a few days and saw her family share a meal, so I thought it was pretty straight forward. 🥘

However, after a few bites, her cousin returned and asked my friend in Fulani if I didn’t like the food. My friend translated and I said yes of course I do! My friend told me that it didnt look like it because my bites were so small. Her cousin then sat next to me and with her hands slowly showed me how to gather a bite and eat with my hands. Her hands were so sure of themselves grabbing all the flavors without hesitation. There was a technique to it, a form to your hands that allows you to fit all the food you want in one bite. After she gathered the bite in front of me, she smiled, as if to say: that is how you eat. 🥘

It was more than just a lesson in how to eat with my hands. It was a lesson in abundance, in family, in community, as we all ate from the same plate and filled ourselves up. I will never forget it. It was such a loving act to teach me something that I know my ancestors did without a problem. What else are my ancestors want to teach me? I’m so grateful for who I am and where I come from. I love our people. 🖤

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