Green 5: A Rural Scene

water sources

Green 5: A Rural Scene – A farmer gathers water from a nearby river

Green 5: A Rural Scene.  The most familiar rural scenery in Southeast Asia would often comprise of vast rice fields, a thatch house and brook or a stream gurgling past it.  Paintings of rural landscapes would often feature these elements in varied arrangements.  In many cases, the angle from the brook or stream would portray some women or group of women bathing or washing clothes in the brook while an angle from the rice field would feature men and women planting or harvesting rice in a seemingly pleasant or enjoyable rhythm.

I was on a boat chugging along a river near the Bay of Bengal when I captured this scene which quickly reminded me of such paintings.  The main elements are still in it but with a slight twist. Instead of women bathing or washing clothes, it’s a young man collecting water through a pair of jerry cans.   When he stands up, the weight of the filled jerry cans would automatically get distributed on both ends of the pole slung across his shoulders.  And then, after a few adjustments to achieve the best balance, he would carry the heavy load back to his hut in the middle of the rice fields where family members are waiting to use the water for cooking, bathing and other purposes.  Such chore is an important part of the daily routine in most rural areas. (JP)

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