In response to today’s one-word prompt: Grain
Rice the grain of culture
When I think of grain, the first thing I think about is rice. I have grown up eating rice twice a day when I was at home in Bangladesh, in fact I couldn’t imagine substituting rice for bread. I belong to a country where rice is the staple food for majority of the population.
For more than half of humanity rice is life.It has shaped the history, culture,diet, and economy of majority of people in Asia. In China,Japan and West Bengal and Bangladesh, the day practically begins and ends with rice. To me it is addictive, the taste of this grain is so delicious, if you taste it once it’s not easy to give up. In this part of the world, rice is considered the root of civilization.
In Thailand rice is the essence to life, it is in music especially folk songs.For centuries rice has shaped the landscape, culture and character of the Asian people.Thai farmers give blessings to rice at every stages of its life, from planting to harvesting. Rice is referred as the Mother. No obscene language is used for fear of upsetting the Mother. If a kind of rice is found musty or smelly, the Thais beg the Mother’s pardon, before they say it’s hard and unpalatable, or the rice is smelly.
I have posted a song by India’s Dwijendralal Ray, enjoy this song, the language is Bengali: Translated by Ranu.
Full of wealth, paddy, and flowers
Lies between is the best country
It’s surrounded by dreams and memories,
You will not find such a country any where else
She is the best she’s the queen of all countries
She is my motherland.
Moon, sun and planets, where can you find so much light
Where does the lightning strike behind the black clouds
Where I sleep and wake up with the song of the birds.
Where will you find a country like my motherland?
Who has such, cool rivers, smoky mountains
Where is such green fields under the sky
Is there a place where the blowing winds wave on the paddy fields?
You cannot find such a place anywhere but in my motherland.
The trees full of flowers, birds singing in the bower
The buzzing bees come in groups
They fall asleep on the flower
after ingesting the honey
Where else can you find all this but in my motherland.
So much love from siblings and mother
Where will anyone find
Oh Mother I want to hug your feet
I am born here and I wish to die here, in my motherland!
I hope you will enjoy this song.