Monday, June 21, 2010

giving alms, housewarming and coconuts!!!

another month has gone by and its nearly july!! approaching my one year mark since i left the are some new photos and accompanying comments:

every culture has a special way of celebrating a housewarming (lang ptdeah in khmer) and in cambodia, food and monks play a big role in the process. so today my host family and i went to the provincial town to celebrate my eldest host brother's newly built home. the day started off with women preparing food and around mid morning, 4 monks arrived to start the blessing of the home. i think the blessing is performed in sanskrit language. after the blessing by the monks, my host mom also blessed her family, all her children (including me) and grandchildren. she is the head of the household.

the new home

women cooking

my host sister cooking vermicelli noodles

monks blessing

my host mom giving blessings
my family is very involved with the wat (pagoda) and my host sisters and host mom participates in all major and small buddhist holidays. giving alms, or 'rabat' in khmer, is a morning ritual where rice, drinks and small goods are given to monks from a local wat. the other day, 20 monks came to my house and my sisters and I, along with 2 yay's (older women) gave each monk a spoonful of cooked rice. the rice they are given in the morning is what they are allowed to eat. monks do not eat at night. also,the ritual is performed shoeless. once we were done giving rice, we sat before them and they said some prayers to bless us. it was all a very quick process. in return for giving alms, i hope to have earned some merit in my current and later life :)

see, no shoes

leftover rice from morning alms
here is a brief blurb on food. while there may be food available here in south asia, not available in the states, i miss food from america immensely. i miss it every second, of every minute of every hour of everyday!!!! SERIOUSLY.

my host sister taking the mature coconut from its outer outer shell

mature coconut

mature coconut with outer shell removed

younger coconut

my friend haeng, shaving coconut with a machine, instead of by hand.

many phases after removing the cocount from its outer layers, you get coconut jello!!! 4 ingredients: sugar, water, coconut and agar agar powder (a powder made from seaweed to turn the liquid into gelatin. vegan!)

coconuts are a wonderful ingredient. this is a coconut milk with mungbean concoction. mung bean is known as "sun-dike kew" in khmer pretty Y-U-M-M-Y

old fashioned shave ice turn the crank

guess what she's cooking in the wok...? see next image

CRICKETS!!! the taste is good, but the texture takes some getting used to...i'll try eating them again at a later time.

the breakfast that built a nation--pork and rice or as the khmer call it "bai saik jruk"

this was made into chicken soup...all parts of the chicken used!! no wasting

oh! my dog gave birth the other morning. the photo isn't very clear, but i will post more when i have better lighting. 6 puppies!

No comments: