Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bangladesh: A Very Long Day (Part 2)


I saw a lot of rice paddies alongside the train tracks, and I'm reminded of the similar scenes from my home country of the Philippines. Instantly I remember an old Filipino folk song about planting rice. I'd like to share the lyrics with you.

Planting rice is never fun
Bent from morn till the set of sun,
Cannot stand and cannot sit,
Cannot rest for a little bit.

Oh, come friends and let us homeward take our way,
Now we rest until the dawn is gray,
Sleep, welcome sleep, we need to keep us strong
Morn brings another workday long.


Oh, my back is like to break,
Oh, my bones with the damp still ache,
And my legs are numb and set
For their long soaking on the wet.


It is hard to be so poor
And such sorrow and pain endure,
You must move your arms about,
Or you'll find you must go without.

pentax coxs bazar day one n two 134

pentax coxs bazar day one n two 135

pentax coxs bazar day one n two 136

pentax coxs bazar day one n two 137
These kids are trying to catch fish by removing the water from one part to another.

pentax coxs bazar day one n two 139

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pentax coxs bazar day one n two 144
Another man trying to catch fish.

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pentax coxs bazar day one n two 155
People were planting long after the sun has set.

I ask my husband what other crops they plant when the rice is harvested. He said, they don't rotate crops, they plant and harvest rice all year long. My minimal knowledge of agriculture has told me to speak out against soil erosion or something to that effect. Bangladesh is starting to realize the value of crop rotation for soil health and to prevent soil erosion, he said, although they are taking baby steps towards this undertaking.

10 comments:

  1. Oh this is such a wonderful post; the song that you quoted is so poignant and sad, but points out so well the terrible hard work that goes into food we take for granted. It makes me want to cry and certainly makes me think..

    Your pictures are great and so beautifully illustrate the verse ...you could almost publish them with the lyrics as a book.

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  2. Wow! Fantastic pictures!
    Very moving this old Filipino folk song about planting rice.

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  3. Thanks for your visit and nice comment!

    The flower in my header is Calliandra brevipes (Pink Powderpuff),an attractive shrub with finely divided leaves and clusters of red powder-puff flowers. It is native to southeastern Brazil, Uruguay, and northern Argentina. Portuguese common names include Esponja and Esponjinha.

    Have a pleasant week ahead.

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  4. A fine post of these pictures of the rice fields and the workers caring for the fields. Interesting method of fishing.

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  5. Rice fiels are so beautiful in Asia! Great series.

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  6. It's lovely to see all this green.

    I'm glad the people are beginning to understand the value of crop rotation.

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  7. As a rice consumer, I often take it for granted the hard work behind this staple Asian food. It certainly ain't fun bending over at work all day!

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  8. This is a very Philippines rural setting, except for the looks of the people in the photos. But your photos are really great as usual, the compositions very lovely too!

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  9. It breaks my heart, Maria, to think of what is endured for us to eat rice! This post is very educational, especially with the inclusion of the song's lyrics. Thank you.

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  10. images like these make me want to go into farming.

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