Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Have You Eaten Rice Today?

In the old days in Bali a common greeting was " Have you eaten rice today? " Rice is an important part of the Balinese culture and folklore and the terraced fields are the most beautiful in SE Asia. Its worth while to take a stroll thru the fields or drive to East Bali around Sideman to see the spectacular terraces.

There are three types of rice in Bali: white rice (bras), red rice (bras barak) and black rice (injin). The Divine plant is considered as a female Being and treated with respect. Each stage of the growing cyle is carried out with an auspicious day, accompanied by offerings. Rites of passage, just as for humans are conducted.

After planting, usually by hand over several days the yellow-green shoots of young rice sprout up. This is  dangerous time for the rice so scarecrows, wind chimes and lines with hanging cloth are put up to frighten the birds. You can hear the farmers yelling in the rice fields at the birds. Two months later the rice will have grown taller and green and ready to harvest. After harvesting the stubble in the fields is burnt so that the old rice stalks  slowly decompose under the water.

No comments:

Post a Comment