Asia is one of the largest continent in the world with a total of 48 countries and it is the melting pot of race and culture. In Asia we do have a common dish and that is rice. Rice is grown in different continent in the world except Antartica. It is one of the largest production after sugarcane and corn, but what makes it as an Asian dish?
Asia produces and consumes 90% of the world's rice. According to statistics of 2017 to 2018 China is one of the most producing country with 148.87 mt next is India (112.91), Indonesia (37mt), Bangladesh (32.65mt), Vietnam (28.47mt), Thailand (20.37), Burma (13.2 mt), Philippines (12.24mt), Brazil (8.21mt), Japan (7.79mt)
According to folklore in India, rice is associated to the Hindu God of wealth, Lakshmi or Annapurna the provider of bounty rice. In Indonesia, Hindus believe that Vishnu created rice from his power to nothing and Indra, the God of Bad Weather thought people to cultivate their own rice that makes the use of waterlogged soil. In Japan, rice associated with Amaterasu the sun goddess who both rule the sun and heavenly fields of rice. Thailand believe that Mae Phosop is considered the mother or rice which is commonly depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a red dress with extravagant jewelry holding a sheaf of harvested rice on her right shoulder.
RICE ARE NOT MADE EQUALLY
As rice as the oldest food that is still consumed and years of cross pollination and genetic modification there are 40000 varieties that are cultivated rice. The varieties can be narrowed down into 3 types of rice grain short, medium and long. Long grains. Long grains are dry, firm and fluffy like Jasmine rice. Medium rice is the most moisture, tender and chewy like Arborio and Valencia rice which are normally used for risotto and paella. Short-grain rice are tiny than it's width known to be sticking and clumping together which is normally used as Sushi.
CELEBRATION OF RICE
In Asia, inhabitants generously commemorate various ancient festivals that is dedicated to the agricultural cycle of growing and harvesting food, most noticeably is rice.
In Malaysia and Brunie they celebrated the Gawai Dayak or also called as the World Harvest Festival featuring members of the Dayak Community together with the neighboring countries like Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.
In Thailand and Cambodia they celebrate the Royal Ploughing Ceremony which is an ancient royal rite to mark the beginning of the rice-growing season.
In Japan, they celebrate Otaue Rice planting festival in Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine which is believed to enhance the vitality of the grains.
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