วันที่นำเข้าข้อมูล 17 มี.ค. 2566
วันที่ปรับปรุงข้อมูล 5 ก.ค. 2566
[cr. Ministry of Culture]
Thai scholars and Japanese scientists studied traces of rice husks on ancient bricks from 108 archaeological sites in 39 provinces across Thailand, and concluded that the area where Thailand is located today had been used for growing rice since the 6th century Buddhist era (537 BCE), starting with the cultivation of glutinous rice. Studies suggest that farmers began planting large grain glutinous rice around B.E. 540-570. It was only later, during the Srivijaya Empire (7th to 12th century AD) that indigenous people started growing Indica rice or “Khao Jao” (ข้าวเจ้า). Historians assume this was influenced by Khmer culture because this rice belonged to the ruling class. However, it has been found that glutinous rice was still being planted during the Sukhothai period (1238-1438) and rice growing has continued and expanded ever since.
The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is an important state ceremony that marks the beginning of farming season. The ceremony is presided over by the monarch, signifying the importance of rice cultivation in Thai Society. Pictured above is a scene from the Royal Ploughing Ceremony in the past. [cr. Matichon]
Its quality along with its beauty - long grain, curled-up tips, a clear, glossy exterior, and fragrance when cooked attracted many farmers. Six years later in 1951, Khun Thip, a village headman (Kamnan) of Tha Thong Lang sub-district took the seed to grow in Chacheongsao’s Bang Kla district. He later handed the seed to an agriculture district officer named Suntorn Seehanoen and the “Hom Mali” rice was sent for growing in an experimental paddy field in Lop Buri in 1953. The experiment was a success and the seeds then travelled to the North and Northeast of Thailand.
There are many legends about the origin of rice. Each story reminds people that every grain of rice is valuable and should not be thrown away. It also reflects the way of life and culture of the people, and is associated with traditions, rituals, and beliefs. Thai people worship the rice goddess called Mae Phosop (แม่โพสพ), Mother Goddess of Rice, which is considered the spirit or soul of rice. It is believed that worshipping the goddess has been part of Thai culture since pre-historic times.
A farmer performs soo khwan khao ceremony in worship of the Mae Phosop [cr. bangkokbiznews.com]
These celebrations and festivals related to the rice and rice cultivation calendar underline the intrinsic connection and relationships between man and rice, the staple that sustains life and community.
Locals dance and sing in the fields during harvest [cr. 77kaoded.com]
Rice in the Present Context
The development of rice cultivation technology has also helped producers achieve export goals. While most production methods have been modified to meet market demand on an industrial scale, some farmer groups have maintained their way of life and traditional methods, opting instead for chemical-free sustainable farming and the growing of organic jasmine rice. These farmers have formed their own communities and today make up a strong alternative agriculture network. The move has taken rice cultivation back to its roots based on nature, local philosophy, and wisdom. By returning to the traditional ways, fertility has returned to the land. The groupings and networks have also helped many smallholder farmers get out of debt as production costs have dropped.
A Thai meal with rice [cr. Bloggang]
There can be no doubt that from ancient times to the present, man and rice have been mutually dependent and inseparable. The same holds true for rice and Thai culture.
Mo Ra Dok Bhumi Pun Ya Ar Harn Karn Kin Tee Pen Sing Bong Chee Tarng Bhumi Sard Thai Khao Horm Ma Li [Jasmine Rice: An Intangible Heritage and A Geographical Indication of Thailand]. Intangible Cultural Heritage. Available at http://ich.culture.go.th/index.php/en/articles/942—–m-s.