Science of Social Meal rules
Science of Social Meal rules
30 years back, this was norm across Bharat. You go to anyone’s home, attend any marriage, stay at dharma-shala, meal was always served in a row and food was consumed as Prasad, slowly, gradually and with silence.
Serving meal was considered sacred duty. No social status comes into the picture. Everyone serves each other one by one.
Sitting in a row for meal is called पंगत or पंक्ति. Everyone sits together and stand up together. This was unwritten custom. Even if you are done with your meal, you sit until everyone completes.
If we go 100 years back, there were much stricter rules. For example, you only eat with someone from your वर्ण / जाति / वर्ग / age.
And this was considered as discrimination. Right? What a biased and bigoted society India was. These all Hindus! 😀
Spoiling dharma, all under the shadow of utter ignorance.
These rules were never designed to discriminate but to support healthy life. All rituals were designed for मानव कल्याण.
Let me give you one example to build the base.
“The handshake represents a deeply established social custom. In recent years, however, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of hands as vectors for infection, leading to formal recommendations and policies regarding hand hygiene in hospitals and other health care facilities,”
University of California, Los Angeles is a well-known university and respected name in medical science research. Physicians here suggested to ban handshake in hospitals. They found that despite handwash, handshakes transmit diseases. This is coming from the culture where handshake is deeply ingrained culture. I appreciate scientific temper.
When we handshake, we exchange प्राण. And when the incompatible प्राण is exchanged, we fall sick. We become carrier of sickness (physical and mental).
Eating food is highly energy-exchange activity. Lot of different type प्राण is consumed and emitted. When you sit with someone having typical प्राणिक footprint similar to yours, chances of exchanging incompatible प्राण are minimal.
Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud.
And since everyone sits together and stand up together, there is a rhythm created, a larger organism, virtual entity, sum total of all compatible प्राणमय शरीर (s). This helps to combat any unforeseen दूषण of food and all प्राणिक impurities associated with it. You see, there was hardly any event of food poisoning. 😉
[Hint: Read this paper. We all have unique microbial cloud.]
This is just a first step to understand eating ritual. Need to spend more time in contemplation for finer conclusion in future. 🙂 (y)
Unfortunately, all modern spiritual guru(s) too don’t follow this anymore. Only place I observed this is Kumbh, among SAdhus. 🙂
Do not forget, सनातन धर्म is for मानव कल्याण. Keep aside all your rational doubts and act. See the difference. Then we really don’t need all these futile rational analysis. 😉
Supportive Hints

Humans differ in their personal microbial cloud

Dispersal of microbes between humans and the built environment can occur through direct contact with surfaces or through airborne release; the latter mechanism remains poorly understood. Humans emit upwards of 106biological particles per hour, and have long been known to transmit pathogens to other individuals and to indoor surfaces. However it has not previously been demonstrated that humans emit a detectible microbial cloud into surrounding indoor air, nor whether such clouds are sufficiently differentiated to allow the identification of individual occupants. We used high-throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA genes to characterize the airborne bacterial contribution of a single person sitting in a sanitized custom experimental climate chamber. We compared that to air sampled in an adjacent, identical, unoccupied chamber, as well as to supply and exhaust air sources. Additionally, we assessed microbial communities in settled particles surrounding each occupant, to investigate the potential long-term fate of airborne microbial emissions. Most occupants could be clearly detected by their airborne bacterial emissions, as well as their contribution to settled particles, within 1.5–4 h. Bacterial clouds from the occupants were statistically distinct, allowing the identification of some individual occupants. Our results confirm that an occupied space is microbially distinct from an unoccupied one, and demonstrate for the first time that individuals release their own personalized microbial cloud.

Banning The Handshake From Health Care Settings: Doctors Say Social Custom Spreads Disease Regardless Of Handwashing

The Western social practice of handshaking has only grown more popular in recent decades with variations up high and down low now often accompanied by the ubiquitous “bro hug.” However, some doctors are pushing to “ban the handshake” in hospitals and doctor’s offices across the country to prevent the spread of communicable disease.

Physicians from the University of California, Los Angeles, argue in an editorial published Thursday in JAMA that handshaking thwarts the practice of handwashing to limit the spread of dangerous pathogens. Soon, health care workers and patients may see the following advisory: “Handshake-free zone: To protect your health and the health of those around you, please refrain from shaking hands while on the premises.”

Although research has long associated handwashing with decreases in bacterial colonization and hospital-acquired infections, only 40 percent of clinicians and other health care workers comply with such mandatory hygiene policies. Among patients and visitors, handwashing hygiene is even lower. And alcohol-based rubs, the most touted solution to hospital hygiene problems, remain ineffective against such dangerous pathogens as Clostridium difficile.