Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pressure from the both side...................

In Sri Lanka betel leafs are traditionally offered as a mark of respect and auspicious beginnings. There are myths about the betel  leaf such as  it was brought from world of snakes and still two edges of the Betle leave has the poison. 

Yet another use of  betel leafs are mixing some other ingredients eating it as a snack. Throughout South Asia and some part of the eastern Asia this is very popular among locals.. Actually it is not a snack it’s more like a chewing workout, after doing for hours it is either spat out or swallowed. Whatever it is will become very dark reddish brown color.
Traditional way of presenting the betel leaf and  areca nut.
Out of the all ingredient used in betel leaf preparation areca nut is  a main ingredient. This also known as betel nut. The areca nut tree quiet similar to coconut tree, same family of palm trees.

A line of areca nut trees on  tea estate.

I’m Sri Lankan and living in this Island over 30 years I have never tried this, also I have very unpleasant experiences. The areca nut is very hard and absolutely no taste. I have tried but ended up with very bitter feeling.
The areca nut is palm tree but grows very tall and very slender. Actually it’s evergreen tree. a very nice looking The areca nut tree still not growing as a commercially, but people let it grow on the boundaries.
 Row of areca nut on a road.
Many modern landscape designers also interested of having the tree part of the
landscape. A row areca nut trees are very common thing in the periphery of Sri Lankan paddy fields,
Children playing with areca nut leaf
The Leaf of the areca nut tree has little hard stiff area, early time in Sri Lanka this was used for food serving. Things are now different, we have plastic everywhere, but our big brother India little more advance they are using dried leaf to make cups and plates.
My interest is always grown up with one another thing related to areca nut. It’s not that areca nut doll we made at grade 04 in school.
                                                              The " Giraya"
That is the areca nut cutter In Sinhalese known as “Giraya”.If we are pressurized by two parties for a problem there is a Sinhalese saying that you are like an areca nut trapped in an areca nut cutter. When you trapped into the cutter there is no escape. You are slicing from top and pressing from bottom. . No escape at all.
 But this is a household instrument in most Sri Lankan house. I’m not sure when Sri Lankan started eating betel leaf with areca nut,but it may be the Kandyan  period of Sri Lanka  that areca nut cut was introduced. I may be wrong.
The brass areca nut cutters with lot of carvings can be seen in Colombo Museum .It say those are belongs to Kandyan period.
The “Giraya” was an inspiring instrument to Sri Lankan writer, Mrs Punyakanthee Wijayanayake and wrote a novel by the same name.
 And later it was turn into a Tele drama. As remember it was one of very few tele drams that Peter De Almeida appeared in. The novel describes a newly married women experiencing very difficult time with her in laws and particular domestic maid who were with the family for years.
It’s a friction but I’m sure we may all have being an areca nut somewhere in life.
Time has done so many things, but still Peter D Almaida looking good.

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