“Raa, annam thinnu”, meaning ‘Come, eat food’, is a standard phrase, which one hears in any house if one enters when they are eating. Children, from a very young age have said to me, “Raa madam, annam thinnu”, if they were eating when I passed. The local culture is to invite anyone who comes by when one is eating to also sit and eat. The children all have that culture. The children started teaching my daughter to say that when she learned to speak. Now that is second nature to her too.
I was urban, and english educated ... and did not have that nuanced culture of a true Indian. I would immediately think that if i gave away the rice, I would again have to start a fire and cook a meal ... and of all the effort involved.
It took me a long time of being steeped in a rich and wise culture to acheive that simple and spontaneous hospitality.