Glutinous-Rice-Eating Tradition in Vietnam and Elsewhere
By Nguyen Xuan Hien
This study presents, on a multi-disciplinary basis, the fabulous role of glutinous rice in day-to-day life and in ceremonial festivities and religious manifestations. The author sums up his four decades of research and cross-checks with documents and eyewitnesses both past and present, and with polls, surveys and interviews performed recently. All these are supported by sayings, proverbs, lullabies, folksongs and folktales from North to South Vietnam and, to some extent, in various neighboring countries where local people share with the Vietnamese their traditional ways of preparing multiple specialties, types of gruel, soups, porridges, cakes in endless kinds of shapes and colors but the key ingredient remains glutinous rice. The Vietnamese bánh giây is closely linked to the Japanese mochi, the Chinese nian gao; the budbud in Mindanao (the Philippines) and makes us remember the Indonesian lemper, the Vietnamese bánh tét, the Thai khao tom khon; moreover, the way to drink ruou cân in Central Highlands (Vietnam) does not differ in the manner of the pangasi feast in Palawan (the Philippines). Diversity fades before unity. The factual item that unifies Southeastern Asians with one another is, among others, glutinous rice. The modernization and globalization in the new millennium cannot challenge the throne of this sacred rice because only through offerings with this rice can the prayers communicate with Gods and Buddhas.
Size 145 x 210 mm.
290 pages, 16 pp. in col.,4 maps