Wednesday, January 28, 2009

the rice terraces of Bali

Green rice terraces are famous all over Bali. The island after all has a love affair with rice. The Balinese are such efficient rice-growers in Indonesia that they often have enough harvests to sell or give away. Mystical as always, they plant varieties in white (beras), red (gaga) and black (injin). To complete the magical notion of 4 directions (like north, south, west, east), they use turmeric spice to introduce a 4th color to rice: yellow.

Jatiluwih, Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/6s, f/22, 18mm, ISO 100

There is always something peaceful in the undiluted sight of rice paddies. Maybe it's the romantic promise of a simple life that we, cityfolks sometimes crave. Behind the poetry of falling water and the grace of the terraces lie the story of labor and labor. In every promise of bountiful grain is the prayer for dutiful rain and favorable prices.

padi [2]
Tegalalang, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/160s, f/5.6, 55mm, ISO 400

Bali used to farm more rice that it can consume. There was a time that it sells excess produce to the other islands. However, with the increasing pressures of population, the island now has to import some its rice requirements. The conversion of arable land into human "development" sites is a constant threat. Meantime, while we still can, let us appreciate the visual art of agriculture.

the popular Bukit Jambul, Karengasem, Bali, Indonesia
Canon PowerShot S40, 1/60s, f/8, 7.1mm

Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/250s, f/8, 49mm, ISO 100, -1/3EV

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