Thursday, August 21, 2008

Buai anyone????


At the market there are lots of people selling betel nut. Betel nuts, which come from a coastal- growing palm, are chewed with daka (mustard stick - the pods that look like beans at the back of the mat), and cumbung (crushed coral lime) to create a mouthful of brilliant red spittle and a "rush". Afterwards it is often spat on the ground, at moving vehicles or passing dogs, sides of buildings or in plastic bags which are then thrown on the road exploding when cars run over them!!!

It has strong cultural meaning here and is used socially and in ceremonies. However it is extremely caustic and can cause mouth cancer.

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I am away at the moment in Lae - see you next week.

12 comments:

The Liberator said...

well, I'd sit with a local and give it a try anyway. once isn't gonna kill me!

The Liberator said...

there must be high cancer rates ... how is the local hospital for mouth cancer?

JM said...

Betel is chewed in many asian countries, but I don't know about that mixture... It makes really odd smiles! I'm sure you know what I mean... :-)

Donna said...

EwwwwwwwwwwwW.....Hahahahaha....hughugs

Abraham Lincoln said...

I guess everyone knows what is best for them.

dive said...

Wow! So that's what betel nuts look like! Not just a beautiful photograph but also very educational for this old Pom.

Julie said...

Ugh! Maybe not my thing having read the text. The image is interesting though ...

Steve Buser said...

Well I always know that when I wander by your blog I am going to get a new and unique experience. You did not disappoint today. You do a good job of picking unusual (to me) subjects.

Katie said...

I have no interest in chewing on any of this to get "brilliant red spittle" but I do want to know more about how that woven furniture is made! Very cool looking!

Hilda said...

Really, Jules, your posts can be about the Philippines too! The vendors, even chewing betel nuts, are so rural Philippines.

Bergson said...

The inhabitants seem always happy to be taken in photograph

It is an armchair braided beside the lady?

USelaine said...

I hope it's socially acceptable to say no thank you! I like how everything is so carefully laid out for display. I wonder if it all gets rearranged with larger gaps each time something gets sold.