Thursday, May 11, 2006

Around Dalat - Children in Home Industries

Besides the pigsty is a whole pot of fermenting rice which results in the potent Vietnamese moonshine possibly 90% alcohol (based on whiff level!) This little girl is helping to stir the brew... The fermented rice is discarded for the pig's consumption making their meat both tasty as well as tender(ised).

This little girl is helping her mother pack the earth into plastic packets. Each packet will hold the spores of future mushrooms. Each packet is strung up and kept hanging inside a dark, stank tent. But under these conditions the mushrooms flourish best and the sweet, thick meat of mushrooms bloom. These mushrooms were being readied for a harvest for Tet when they would fetch a good (read exhorbitant) price!

Bamboo grows easily but try splicing them WITHOUT splicing oneself. It is an art. Cut bamboo also offers dangers as the plant itself has a sharpness that can hurt. However, these children seem at ease in this family business. The older boy splits bamboo into strips for further work by his siblings

The girl splices them further, smoothens the edges and refines the bamboo strips so they are ready for weaving.

Two boys barely older than six battled it out to weave two strips of bamboos with their feet. Each completed woven strip took only 10 seconds to complete. They did it with such intensity and speed it was incredible! It is uncertain what the final product would be used for. Maybe fences, maybe rooftops - but these children were having more fun than if they had been playing computer games.

Mummy, can i help with the flowers?


Just beside this tank of water where the children have gathered for their Kodak moment, their father was chipping at an uneartherd bomb to retrieve the firearm's gunpowder. Could the firearm explode whilst he chipped at it? What would happen to these children? Yet without the financial returns from his work, what would happen to these same children.


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