Smack in the middle of dinner, my mouth suddenly forms a large vertical oval shape, not unlike that of a donkey yawning. As if in slow motion, little food particles descend from my oral cavity onto the table comprising Shabbos leftovers and Friday afternoon cholent.
My mom shoots me a look that says, “Oh, not again. How did I manage to raise an eighteen year-old daughter who still manages to burp out loud at the table?”
“Oh, not again,” my eyes shoot back to my mom, saying, “How did I manage to be raised for eighteen years by a mother who still doesn’t realize that burping is a part of who I am?”
This spat has been going on for a while, and I think it’s time society recognized that we Gen Zers need not suppress our identity in order to please the adults. Parents think they’re all high and mighty because of “manners,” but let me tell you, I can’t even spell ettiqwuit (ettikit?). If burping is who I am, then nothing is going to change that. It’s my identity.
Furthermore, burping conveys to my private chef (aka my mom) that I enjoyed her meal. Without even needing to validate her cooking with words, my own biology does the talking. In recognizing the wondrous capacity the body has to express our inner feelings, this manifestation of Hashem’s power in our universe becomes all the more evident. But don’t take my word for it: in some countries including China, Taiwan, and India, burping is considered polite.
Normalize burping, and you’ll be doing a world of good for personal identity and compliments to the chef. You know it, I know it, we all know it. Burp like there’s no tomorrow.