Wednesday, 5 October 2011
The Thai farmer
Rice is vitally important to Thailand. Not only does it provide food and work, but it's also one of the main exports of the country. You can see how much it is part of everyday life from the words meaning to eat, "kin khao" where khao means rice.
Needless to say, the traditional way of life is changing and modern technology is taking over. The way of life and its rituals are disappearing, along with the delicately balanced ecosystem in the rice fields which is home to a wide variety of animals. Modern machinery and pesticides are threatening the balance. A Chinese proverb says "Precious things are not pearls and jade but the five grains, of which rice is the finest".
The card says, "It's still hot and sunny although it will be August soon. No rain!" Rice is traditionally planted when the rains start sometime in May. At this time the Royal Ploughing Ceremony takes place in Bangkok , as it has for about 700 years, to mark the start of the new season.