Eating habits are influenced by environment, such as the climate and the availability of water and of plants
or animals to serve as food. It is also influenced by the customs of eating passed down from generation to
The nomadic Arabs eat what they can transport and find in the desert. Fruits from oases, camel’s milk, goat’s
cheese, rice, and a bit of meat may constitute the only meal of the day. These nomads sit close together and eat
with their fingers, partaking from a common bowl. The Arabian nomads have a longstanding tradition of
democracy and hospitality. For example, rich and poor eat similar food, and visitors are always offered coffee
and invited to share the “common” meal.
Another group of people who eat with their hands are the people of India. They are trained to use only the
tips of the fingers of the right hand to touch food. It is a major social disgrace to eat with one’s left hand, or even
to pick up one’s drink glass with the left hand, since the left hand is reserved for wiping one’s backside after
using the restroom. Banana leaves are the only utensils required. These leaves are laid out on the floor in an area
typically reserved for eating. In India people wash their hands and mouths before and after eating. As the
economic situation changes in India, eating habits may change also. In many industrialized parts of India people
now eat with forks and knives.
In Mexican villages and in other rural areas in Latin America, the tortilla is used as an eating utensil in place
of the fork or spoon. This custom is disappearing in urban areas. The tradition lives on in modern restaurants,
especially in tourist areas of Mexico, where dining enthusiasts are offered large bowls of scoop shaped tortillas,
which are fried to a crisp shape for dipping.
Eating habits vary widely. Like other customs, they arise out of the environment where they are practiced.
There is a close relation between eating habits and ways of living. When these ways change, many eating habits
【Group】46. What is the best title of this passage?
(A) Cultural Differences Around the World
(B) Eating Customs in Modern Times
(C) Various Ways of Living
(D) Eating Habits in Various Parts of the World