#SoCS July 6/19


Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “chew/choo.” Use one or both, any way you’d like. Have fun!

When I read the word chew, the thought that came to mind was about areca. In coastal south Karnataka coconuts and areca nuts are grown widely. We use coconuts in our daily food and also use coconut oil. People of our community have been growing areca nut trees for generations. We use the areca nut in social and religious functions.
Many have the habit of chewing areca nut daily. They take it with betel leaf, a little slaked lime and tobacco. They chew this mixture but do not swallow it. Many have the very bad habit of keeping in the side of their mouth for a long time. They do this repeatedly and many a time this leads to cancer in the mouth. A few years ago, people started saying that betel nut was bad for the health. Others replied that it was not betel nut but the tobacco that was taken with it and kept in the mouth that was bad for health. Such discussions keep happening about so many things.

My father-in-law had been an agriculturist all his life. He used to work with the workers. There are areca trees, coconut trees, cocoa trees in his farm. Till about twenty years ago there was no labour problem. People living in nearby areas worked in the farm. Very few people used to move away from their places. But as the years passed education made it possible for people to move to towns and cities for jobs. So, there are hardly any people working in the lands.
I remember my father-in-law telling me that paddy was harvested mid-October. Then it was work with areca trees. By November the areca nuts became ripe and every month till April they were plucked. They were spread evenly on the ground in the yard. They had to dry under the sun for forty days. But every few days they were turned over for all the sides to dry evenly. They are then stored in an air-tight room. The husk is removed before selling. I don’t think my father-in-law ever chewed areca nuts 😊.
Assam in the north east of our country has almost similar geographical conditions as our place. Areca nut trees are grown there too.

WP_20141212_11_59_57_Pro ( a few years ago my father-in-law used to get areca fruits from the farm)

WP_20150322_12_24_15_Pro (The narrow wooden bridge is made from the trunk of dead areca trees)

Betel – Wikipedia
Areca nut – Wikipedia

5 Top Uses of Slaked Lime | Hydrated Lime – wildturmeric.net

4 Replies to “#SoCS July 6/19”

  1. I only ever heard of chewing betel nuts from a song in the musical “South Pacific” which my daughter and granddaughter both acted in.

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