When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
This is the best way to learn and experience a culture. So we started with eating using our hands.
It really isn’t as hard as you think. Don’t read those warnings, complex instructions, all the shoulds and shouldn’ts about how one is supposed to eat listed in those guidebooks. They only make things look intimidatingly complicated.
There is just one golden rule – eat with only your right hand. In both India and Nepal, the left hand is used for wiping one’s bottom, hence it shouldn’t be used to handle food, especially other people’s food (I have one question though… does this rule hold the same for the left-handed?). But since we are tourists, foreigners who are not familiar with all the Indian customs and traditions, we have a legitimate excuse to let ourselves use our left hand for little assistance when eating. Just make sure you don’t use it to handle other people’s food.
And one little tip – use your thumb. I won’t elaborate much here though, for you won’t remember the details when you start eating in India/Nepal anyways. Just watch what the locals do and very soon you will get the hang of it.
Yet, due to the westernized culture in India, as well as the many tourists who don’t feel comfortable eating with their hands, forks and spoons are always found placed on tables by default in the restaurants these days. But, hey! Here is your chance to be a kid all over again! So, don’t worry too much. Go and wash your hands. Have fun and enjoy your food in the Indian way!