Rice – A way of living

“If you give me rice, I’ll eat it today;

If you teach me how to grow rice,

I’ll eat every day”

-Mahatma Gandhi

 

Imagine your life without your favourite pot of biryani or rajma rice.

Can you? Most of us will say no.

This is because we have not thought of our life without Rice. Since time immemorial, this grain has got imbibed in the very sensibilities of humanity.

Whether a student leaving for an exam or a bride during the Grah Pravesh ceremony, rice is integral to our lives and remains a passionate ambassador of auspiciousness, growth, and fertility through rituals and ceremonies.

Be it our first day of office, an important interview, or a soldier going to war; rice is always there to plow the way with its versatility and strength.

Rice is Everywhere

India is the second largest rice producer in the world and across India, we find rice integrated in different aspects of life. In one corner, we will find a pot of kheer being made for Anaprashan ceremony while on the other side preparations for a Vidyarambham ceremony (which exposes children to the world of education) using dry rice.

In South India, rice is central to Pongal, similarly in the north khichdi is part of Makar Sankranti. Every state celebrates this grain in its way. Without any doubt, from Eid to Diwali, Rice has a symbolic reverence in our social framework.

Rice plays an important role at the beginning of many things: be it a new life with someone special, a fresh start in a new house, or Bhoomi Pujan of new land.

One can almost say that no ritual is complete without rice.

Rice is sprinkled over the newlyweds to bless them with a prosperous future. Brides, in many parts of India, toss grains of rice towards her paternal house during their Vidaai. This custom nurtures the emotion that says “mere jaane k baad bhi humara ghar dhan dhanye se bhara rahe”. The same happens when she enters her new house after marriage as she tips over a pot filled with rice and it translates” nayi bahu k aane se ye ghar bhi khushiyo se aur samridhi se bhar jaaye”. How beautiful these thoughts are and so is the role of rice in our life.

 

Yummy in our tummy

Rice is not only delicious but is also an important source of carbohydrates for over half of the world’s population.

In India, there are various different types of rice cultivated including black rice, red rice, jasmine rice, bamboo rice amongst others. No party, no celebration is complete without a delicacy made up of rice.

The credit for this goes to the multitude of varieties and flavours which rice offers us in India and around the world.