(The author of this quote will be known as "A" for security reasons.)
I was at a friend's house as his family was hosting a puja populated by people from Karnataka. Thus, after the function, all food served was South Indian.
That said, the guy in whose name the puja was held invited 2 North Indian friends as well. This made for some funny moments at lunchtime.
The food was typical South Indian cuisine: rice (anna), saaru/rasam, puliogare, salad/kosambari, huli, idli, and yogurt (mosaru). Only yogurt and rice out of these things are found in North Indian cuisine, and even then they are prepared and mixed slightly differently (as far as I know).
Someone else gave "A" a bowl full of saaru to go along with his salad, puliogare, idli, and rice. He wasn't too sure what to do, saying the aforementioned quote in the process. Understandably, he was lost. He didn't completely mix the saaru with the rice and he even tried mixing saaru with the puliogare (the latter is traditionally eaten alone as it is rice already mixed with other curries and nuts).
In his defense, the bowl had too much saaru, so I could understand why he was a little confused at eating such a watery rice mixture.
It was amusing to watch, but in the end, he enjoyed it, and I took this as further evidence that cultures that may seem homogeneous at first are actually incredibly diverse.
I had a similar incident at the graduation party of a North Indian friend I will call "AA". Though I am somewhat familiar with North Indian food (unlike "A", who had almost never had South Indian food before) as I was OK with eating the cutlet, and chaat, cutlet, and samosa served, I was used to eating chole with chapaati and nothing else, hence my bewilderment at seeing my friends there (also North Indian) mixing it with rice.
It's telling that people are quick to group others together and judge when they shouldn't be, and I don't think it's particularly fair either. I think I should start not offending Taiwanese people by labeling them "Chinese".
What about you?