Sorry to learn of your experience. I understand that these things vary from country to country and some people go out of their ways to insult others. Having said that, some Indian food do have strong smell and in some occasions it does make sense to make use of ventilation and opening windows (where appropriate).
I did not understand your point about cultural appropriation though. It seemed like at least in your case, there was cultural resistance.
Curiously, till the 19th century, many Europeans would make nothing of eating with their hands. You can argue that eating with your hands is perhaps the most hygienic and satisfying act you can do to your food.