Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rice cultivation in Maninjau, West Sumatra

Pic: Rice farmer in Maninjau

Pic: Rice cultivation extends from slopes of mountains to the edge of Lake Maninjau (click to enlarge)

Lake Maninjau or Danau Maninjau, to give it its Indonesian name, is one of those volcanic areas in Indonesia which can support padi (rice) or paddy cultivation. Rice is a staple food for Asians so though I've seen many a rice field I never cease to wonder at the sight of padi cultivation. Walking on the bunds in the rice field, taking care not to lose my balance, and observing the rice seedlings were exquisite experiences for me.

The rains had come, signaling the start of the padi planting season.

I met a farmer taking shelter from the rain.

"How old are you?" I asked him.

"Fifty-eight,'" he said.

"Still young."

"But I don't know why my hair has turned white."

"It's natural," I assured him. "How many children have you?"

"Seven," he said proudly.


"Yes, seven."

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