Thailand and its rice culture
Thailand has a long relationship history with rice and its importance in terms of eating culture all the way to religious believes and being the soul and spirit of every Thai person. History of Thailand have been running with the importance of rice since forever, and we, as a Thai people, do learn and appreciate how importance rice is to Thai history and also to Thai people.
Thailand, as it well known as "The land of smile" it also has the other name of "The rice bowl of Asia" since in Thailand, rice is not only the most consume food but also the main core item to lead all household to a better life. The idea of rice is life can be dated back since the time of Buddhism started and has played an important roles in Thai folk tales and Aesop’s Fables. Rice is also considered to has its own soul which is known as Mae Posop, or the “Rice Mother” or “Rice Goddess”. The life cycle is also related to existance of Mae Posop, since many believed that she was born from rice, then later pregnant when rice flowers, before gave birth to other rice as mentioned of "Rice is Life". The belief that rice has a soul highlights its importance in Thai culture and how it connected with such a strong connection to Thai people's daily life.
On May 5th of every year, Thai people will celebrate the Royal Ploughing Ceremony, known in Thai as Jarod Pranangkan Raenakwan. The ceremony were originally adopted from India intended to encourage farmers in the beginning of the rice cultivation season. Rice is very holy and well treated as a respective sacred item, if someone drop some rice then the right thing to do is to carefully pick it up with such respect it deserves.
All the cultures, tradition, belief, customs and values of Thailand are all merged into rice related idea and civilization. Rice also gave other importance like its nutritions. More than roughly over 3,500 rice in Thailand are ranging from local wild rice variety to the fresh new ones. Nowaday, Thailand is one of the world's largest rice producer and was the world's llargest rice exporter. In today's Thai culture of eating, that meal wasn't considered finished if there are no rice severd yet. Even now, to invite someone to eat, Thai people will say " Kin Khao" meaning "Let's eat rice". The importance of rice revolved around Thai culture has been passed on from generation to generation and will keep spreading from time moving forward.