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The culture and history of rice in various countries


All cultivated rice in the world is Asian cultivated rice. The Asian cultivated rice originated from wild rice. In the past, scholars usually believed that the earliest cultivated rice originated from India to Yunnan, China. Since rice was unearthed at the Hemudu site in Zhejiang Province in the 1970s, traditional thinking has been under attack. It also triggered a wave of research on the origin of ancient rice.
Rice and China
Rice's seal font
According to legend, the Shennong family taught farmers how to grow rice. In ancient China, millet (millet) was also very important. However, more than 3000 years ago, rice was probably the main food of the Chinese. The era was about in the Shang Dynasty. At that time, the word rice was only similar. The shape of the character "Jiu" was later popularized in the Zhou Dynasty, and the character "He" was added which looked like a rice ear. In the bronze inscriptions, "claws" are added to the top of the mortar, which resembles that of hitting rice in the wind and pounding rice by hand. image
As for the word "rice" in the oracle bone inscriptions, originally there were only six straight points and three points up and down, representing rice grains. Later, the dots in the middle were connected to indicate the shelf partition where the rice was placed, which became the character "m". In the Eastern Han Dynasty Xu Shen said in his book "Shuowen Jiezi", a commentary on Chinese characters, that "rice is like the shape of Heshi." Later, "corn" was also called in Chinese characters. "Millet", "rice" means "rice".
It is beyond doubt that the history of rice cultivation in China is quite long, but many scholars still hope to find the earliest varieties of rice or dry rice. Many archaeological sites in Asia have successively discovered some early rice. For example, in 1995, four yellow rice grains were discovered at the Yuchanyan site in Dao County, Hunan Province, China. They were dated 10,000 years ago, and they are known to be the earliest rice grains in the world. In addition, in Hemudu on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, rice seed residues from about 7000 years ago were also unearthed; the artificially cultivated rice siliceous bodies were unearthed in Yingde, Guangdong, about 10,000 years ago. Some ancient rice in China has even been replanted by scientists and added to hybrid rice varieties.
At present, China is also the world’s largest rice producer, accounting for 35% of the world’s production. Indica rice is mainly produced in the south of China, and japonica rice is produced in the north. Today's National Emblem of the People's Republic of China includes the surrounding wheat ears.
In southern China, rice is commonly referred to as rice or millet, hulled for rice (mostly white, but there are also light red (such as carmine rice), light green (such as green rice), purple (such as Yunnan fragrant rice) and even black varieties.) , Boiled rice is called rice in northern China, white rice in southern China, and liangzi (from Teochew dialect) in Hong Kong.
In recent years, China has been actively conducting research on rice and upland rice, and the fastest-growing hybrid rice research center is to promote Chinese agriculture to solve and help economic, food and other problems. In Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, several species of wild rice are preserved. The rice here is the ancestor of rice in the world.
Rice and Chinese idioms and proverbs
If it is said that rice has a rice civilization, the Chinese people most often greet "have you eaten?", which may be the best representative of the rice civilization. Since ancient times, there have been seven things to say: "firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, tea", which shows that the Chinese people regard rice as a staple food. And the poem of pity for agriculture written by the poet Li Shen of the Tang Dynasty: "On the day of hoeing, sweat drips into the soil; who knows that everything is hard in the plate." Today, it has become one of the catchy Tang poems.
Other proverbs:
"A clever woman can hardly cook without rice": Even a smart and capable woman cannot cook without rice. It is difficult to accomplish things because they lack the necessary conditions.
"The same rice raises hundreds of people": It means eating the same rice but feeding people with different personalities, different circumstances, and different identities. It is a metaphor for people of all kinds in society, or refers to the fact that everyone in the family eats the same but has different personalities.
"One thing cures one thing, glutinous rice cures psyllids": The glutinous rice can be used to treat psyllids to indicate that all things grow and restrain each other.
"Salt is more than you eat rice": It means that you have richer experience than others.
"Eating rice does not know how expensive rice is (price)": It can be compared to a person's ignorance of things around him.
"Stealing chickens does not rob rice": It means that greed will not benefit but will suffer.
Rice and Chinese customs
In Chinese custom, if a husband and wife give birth to a boy, they must present oil and rice to their relatives and friends at the full moon to celebrate. China has been a farming country since ancient times, and many ethnic groups among them use rice as their daily staple food, so there are celebrations to celebrate the rice harvest. For example, the Gaoshan people like to cook rice into rice, or steam glutinous rice into cakes and rice cakes to celebrate various festivals or guests. The Han people eat Yuanxiao (tangyuan), rice cakes, and carrot cakes during the Lunar New Year; eat rice cakes and other customs on the Dragon Boat Festival.
Rice and Japan
A Japanese Ukiyo-e; depicting farmers working in the farmland on a rainy day. Japanese rice is mostly japonica rice, which is more viscous and shorter in shape than glutinous rice, but it is very suitable for traditional Japanese foods that require viscosity "Sushi" making. The method of planting rice was introduced to Japan in the 3rd century BC, during the Jomon period (or the middle of the Yayoi period). Scientists tested the charred rice and rice, and traces left on the earthenware. Get this data. However, scholars today are still controversial about the origin of the introduction of rice from Japan. Some data point to the introduction of rice and related farming techniques to the northern part of Kyushu, and finally to the whole country. Various places; there is also another argument that supports it from the south of the Chinese mainland via Taiwan and Ryukyu to the southern part of Kyushu. After that, it spread and became popular throughout the country. However, these two insights are thought to have spread slowly from mainland China to Kyushu, then to China, Shikoku, Kinki, Chubu, Kanto, and Tohoku in order, and then expanded to the surrounding Japanese areas and the whole country.
In Japanese history, the rice economy in the Yayoi culture led to the beginning of the classification of the rich and the poor in Japan, and also turned the countryside into the seeds of political groups, and derived Japanese beliefs and customs. Therefore, rice is often mentioned in Japanese history. In the East Asian cultural circle, Japan is the nation that likes to eat rice cakes the most, and it has reached a stage of belief. The rice cakes are made of glutinous rice, and the Yamato people are like glutinous rice. The nationality and spiritual structure of the Japanese are also farmer-like. They don’t care about things other than rice planting and paddy field planting. They continue to assimilate other people who have landed in Japan and become a saying The Japanese rice-growing nation.
Japan may be one of the few countries that has issued rice-based coins (the old five yen yen). Japan is currently the ninth largest rice producer in the world. There are approximately 2.3 million rice farmers in the country. The area of ​​paddy fields obtained by farming is only 0.8 hectares. In Japan, more than 90% of the rice is sold domestically, and the price is not expensive. Japanese rice is generally harvested only once a year, but Japanese people like to eat domestically produced Japanese rice. Also, almost all rice farmers are highly mechanized, reducing the problem of manpower loss, making Japan's rice always self-sufficient.
In addition to the rice used in Japan, rice is also used as a raw material for foods such as wine, rice cakes, sugar, desserts, sauces, soy sauce, and vinegar. While traditional Japanese people like to use rice for breakfast, the younger generation has gradually been replaced by foods such as bread. Japan also has many streets and lanes named after rice.
Japan also has a custom of eating Japanese rice cakes during the New Year. In addition, traditionally in Japan, after a girl's first menstrual period, the family will cook red bean rice to celebrate the girl's growth and possessing feminine characteristics.
Rice and India
The history of rice production in India is also quite long. About 65% of the total population is rice-based. Because India’s mild climate is quite suitable for rice production, the country has also become the largest rice cultivation area. Rice production has exceeded Vietnam is second only to China, and its main economy is rice production in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Bihar. The king of rice in India is called "Basmati" (Basmati). It is produced in the border area between India and Pakistan. It is characterized by a long and slender shape and a strong aroma of rice. In 1997, Rice Tec Inc. (Rice Tec Inc.) crossed the gene of this rice with the American long indica rice variety to improve the new rice, and protected it with patent rights under the name of "Indian Fragrant Rice", which led to the original planting in India Farmers of fragrant rice must pay high royalties to this company. This case has aroused international discussion, and finally it was determined that the American Rice Technology Company could not sell their new rice under the name of "basmati rice", but instead sold it as "super basmati rice." Northern India is also the birthplace of wild rice
Rice and Thailand
Rice is Thailand’s main export product, the world’s largest rice exporter, and one of the staple foods of the locals. The Farming Festival is also the main local festival, among which the plowing and planting ceremony is the most important, in anticipation of a good harvest. The earliest rice remains were found in northern Thailand and Yunnan, and were planted around 3500 BC.
Rice and France
Aal Rice Festival (la Feria du riz) is a local festival in Arles, France to celebrate the harvest of rice. It is held every year in mid-September for three consecutive days. The celebrations included the selection of the "Rice Queen", parade in floats, bullfighting, drinking fruit wine, and eating Spanish paella. After being selected, the "Rice Queen" will take a large punt down the Long River and receive the rice sprinkled by everyone on both sides of the river.
Rice and America
International Rice Festival is an annual rice festival in Crawley, Louisiana, USA. It is held on the third weekend of October every year. It is the oldest agricultural festival in Louisiana and one of the largest agricultural festivals in the United States. The first rice festival was held on October 5, 1937. Since then, more than seven million people have participated in this annual event. There are two parades during the holiday season: the first is the children's parade, on Friday; the second is the general parade, on Saturday. At the same time, there are a variety of activities such as rice cooking contest, eating contest, farmers'banquet and the Queens'Ball. There will be entertainment performances and handicraft exhibitions from morning to evening near the venue and on the main road.
Rice and Malaysia
Harvest Festival is the traditional culture of the Dushun nationality in Kadashan, Malaysia. It is a thanksgiving celebration for the rice harvest, including beauty pageants and cultural dances.

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