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The Legend of Rice

The Legend of Rice

Rice is ubiquitous in Vietnam, in the course cultures, then in the kitchen, but also in many traditions and popular rites and so deeply into the culture. On the occasion of Lunar New Year, two rice cakes special, the "banh chung" and "banh day" whose legend dates back to King Hung, is used to mark all entering the Tet holidays.

In this legend, a genius descended from heaven, and breathed during sleep Prince Lieu advice to help him win the contest was to prepare a dish except to offer an offering to the ancestors, his father King Hung proposed to his twenty-two son for his succession: "Nothing he says is greater than heaven and earth, and nothing is more precious in this world than a grain of rice. We will make two cakes that are meaningful. Raises me these grains of glutinous rice and seeks me as soybeans. "The genius looked large banana leaves and resumed", this cake symbolizes the earth, which contains trees, rice fields, mountains and forests and is represented by the color green and the square shape. In the cake, there is meat and soybeans, meaning that the earth carries within its animals and trees ... From sticky rice neatly folded and packed around represents the sky, it should be white, consisting of rounded and curved towards the above ...".  

Legends Rice will succeed, some like the little Giong which turned into giant pots full absorbent rice and protected the kingdom against the Chinese invaders, or that of the "Good Mother" Khong which is watched over the Vietnamese people through magic rice grains. Today, again, popular festivals still together families and villages to the end of harvest and are used many traditional rituals.

*/ The wealth of a grain of rice

If rice is the basis of the daily diet in Vietnam, he is also very present in the language and popular expressions. Sufficiency in rice appeared for a long time and certainly even today, as a priority: the important thing in life is to first have "rice and clothes" ("com ao"), have "rice sufficiency, kidneys warm" ("no com, âm CAT") as "a grain of rice equals a gold nugget" ("gao hat, hat vang").

The precious grain that was the basis of the basis for the development of Vietnamese society is so highly respected "every grain of rice is wasted a maggot will eat when the kingdom of the dead". Culture asked the Vietnamese people to defeat the hills to allow cultures gradually master the rivers to irrigate, build and maintain dykes and canals ... Increasingly they had to venture into new lands and unhealthy inhabited by wild animals to develop production, they organized a special administration for optimizing production until today make full use of the Vietnamese landscape, drawn multiple plots ordered them ... hard work around the rice appears then as the link between the past and the present, the ancestors and the visible world, the pact of alliance that unites Heaven and Earth, and the union of an entire culture in the image of this lament of the Vietnamese peasant "O you who want the full rice bowl, remember that a single grain of rice, tender and fragrant, cost thousands and thousands of bitterness".

*/ " The timing of cooked rice "

At each meal, rice gathers around him all family members, who will eat together, sharing food and conversation together. This important moment in the collective life of the Vietnamese family is called bua com, which could be translated as "the time of cooked rice".

This instant exchange over a meal is particularly respected in Vietnam because it carries with it many values ​​and traditions that are passed between generations, grandfather see the great- father to parents and children. For the child, for example, "the time of cooked rice" is "a special time learning roles and rules prevailing in family and social exchange". He then tries forms of politeness, respect the hierarchy, the appropriate terminology for the relationship ...

"In a hierarchical society dedicated to the worship of the old, the child first learns of his mother being used as a last and only start eating after his elders, not without having first spoken words ritual: "I ask my grandfather to eat cooked rice", "I invite my grandmother ... my father, my mother, my uncle, my aunt, my big brother ... to eat cooked rice "(I ông xoi com, xoi com ba me ... )".

During the meal, other principles must also be respected. This is to avoid clash chopsticks with those of another guest, the shock of being deemed as potentially cause conflicts. As a courtesy, the child should also avoid clinking chopsticks against his bowl, which means it does not have enough to eat and yet he claims rudely rice. Similarly, it will measure its appetite depending on other guests as required by the diction "leaves enough rice to others and honor your elders, dead or alive". Finally, at the end of the meal, it will ensure to leave nothing in his bowl and not to spill a single grain of rice, and before putting his bowl, he will take care to wait for the old and seniors have them own finished eating.


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