Hospitality

This past weekend, Satya’s brother and his wife visited our apartment for the first time.  Satya’s mom made sure we followed a hospitality tradition.  His brother and his wife both had to eat something from our apartment.  We offered them a banana since they weren’t really hungry at that time-actually they each had half a banana.  Satya’s mom just made it seem very important that we offered them something and they ate it.

In general, it seems that all cultures value hospitality and offering guests enough food and water to satisfy.

I wonder what is so special about the first time someone visits?  Is it supposed to set a precedent of hospitality?  To ensure that we have family and friends visit us regularly?  Here in the U.S. I’ve never experienced this particular tradition before so am curious.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gori Girl
    Sep 03, 2008 @ 03:22:54

    We’ve never done anything like this – but Aditya’s family is generally less formal than most, I think.

    Reply

  2. minnesotameetskarnataka
    Sep 05, 2008 @ 13:57:44

    Hi Gori Girl,

    Good to know. Guess there is a wide range.

    Satya claims his family isn’t that formal because his parents don’t require any bowing or touching of the feet.

    Reply

  3. dbals
    Jun 18, 2009 @ 21:31:02

    Just found your blog while hunting for desi-intercultural blogs.
    I’m a desi guy from Tamilnadu (neighbouring Karnataka) living in US for past 5 years.
    Traditions vary from region to region, family to family.
    In my family, the first time visitor is treated royally to get their best first impression about our house. Relatives who visit after a long time are also treated like first-time visitors. They are compelled to eat something – lunch, dinner or atleast coffee. Not eating anything is an insult. A big problem for me when I go on one of those super-quick visits to several relatives’ house in one day during my vacation.
    Newly married couple visiting for the first time are offered clothes, coconut and small jewelery and they get the blessings of elders in return.

    Thanks for the elaboration. That helps a lot!

    Reply

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