It’s Friday in Qatar! That means the first day of the weekend. If any of you plan on visiting Asian or Middle Eastern friends after the pandemic, you may be privelaged enough to experience a Friday lunch, after mosque.
What can you expect?
Majlis style seating in some homes – be sure to leave your shoes at the door.
Be comfortable on the Majlis rugs but do not sprawl.
Don’t stand and eat and definitely, no photos!
Men and women should dress to the ankle and elbow.
A community affair! Expect extended family, neighbors and friends.
It isn’t necessary to take a food item for the lunch, nor any gift – be sure to return the invite at some point though.
Large platters of traditional dishes such a majboos, maqluba and mansef. Biryani too!
The idea is to tuck-in and dish up your own servings at will from the platters, rather than have things plated for you.
Drinks aren’t usually served during the meal. Feel free to ask for some water if needs be.
Eat with your hands!
What is this last bit about?
You will actually be eating with your fingertips and there is etiquette around this.
– only the right hand is used
-2 fingertips and thumb are used to form tiny parcels in the plate before lifting to your mouth
-use your thumb as a mini shovel to swiftly push into your mouth
– never mess the palms or ‘play’ with the food
Benefits of eating with your fingertips?
– stimulates digestion
– prepares the stomach for the food by increasing flora in your mouth via your fingertips
– manages food portions
-prevents you burning your mouth!
Ask questions about the food or anything you are unsure about.
Such lunches are all about community and showcasing culture to other groups is a real privelage.