Monday, March 08, 2010

Betel nuts

Chewing betel nut (or sirih in Indonesian) is one of the favourite occupations of the Sumbanese, men and women, young and old. Three elements are required: a nut from the areca palm tree, some lime, and a leaf or the fruit of the betel vine. The nut is cut into pieces and put into the mouth. Then the betel fruit is chewed a bit to cut it open, put into lime and put into the mouth. The reaction of the lime with the betel fruit makes for abundant, reddish saliva. Old people may require a small areca nut ponder to replace missing teeth.

Chewing betel nut is a social activity. Offering betel nut to a guest is welcoming him in the house.




... and the winner is...
Sumba Island, February 2010.

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3 Comments:

At March 11, 2010 at 9:08 AM, Blogger Sylvie + family said...

Big betel consumers in Sri Lanka too, street pavement is sparkled with red saliva too ...

 
At March 11, 2010 at 7:52 PM, Blogger brommel said...

S+fam: post your family picture pls

 
At March 11, 2010 at 9:38 PM, Blogger Sidney said...

Ifugao's in the Philippines are also big users of betel nuts.

It gives everybody such a beautiful red smile :)

 

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