Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Feature-Dining Table VS. Dastarkhan!

Asalamu alaikum,

In our family the dastarkhan(a mat placed on the floor to eat around, similar to a table cover) always wins. The dining table is not used very often. Since I have come to Pakistan, I think we have used it only twice. Though when we have guests over the TV room coffee table is also sometimes used.

It is just easier to use a dastarkhan. Since we are a big family, even the big formal dining table isn't big enough to seat all of us. So when meal time comes around, we pull out the dastarkahn. Everyone always sits in the same spot. My father in law next to the pots, to serve out the food, eldest brother sits to his left, and then his wife, their children, then me, Saad, Tariq, and the three sisters complete the circle.

The plates are filled, and passed around, and with a "bismillah" we start the meal.

After we are all finished, the plates and pots get taken back to the kitchen. The dastarkhan gets wiped down, dried, and folded to be put away for the next meal.

It is also much more portable than the table. If we want to have a tikka party on the roof, we just bring up the dastarkhan and our picnic rug. Much easier than carting the patio table around.

It is simple and fits nicely for our family. Sometimes if we eat at the dining table, or in the tv room around the coffee table, it now feels far too formal.


Farhan Jalil said...

I prefer table because that way i don't have to bent my back everytime to eat my food. But dastarkhan have their pros like you mentioned

Thinking said...

hmm...both dastarkhan and tables have there own place...well..nice post.

Aishah said...


FarhanJ, I had not thought about that! I am pretty short though, so I don't have to bend too much :-)

Thinking-You are right, they both have a place. We use our dining table for guests, or for people that would have difficulty sitting on the floor and getting up.

Anonymous said...

My family uses both... dastarkhan for immediate family and dining room table and chairs for guests. They prefer the rug to the table. Its informal and perfect for taking tea. :)