The Thai monarchy celebrates rice, engine of the national economy
Celebrating rice is one way for Thaisto preserve the tradition, culture and the ties among citizens, as is clearly seen from initiatives launched by the royal house. Marking the festival, the king presided over the distribution of 300 thousand small pockets of rice, distributed to farmers, who will mix them in with the rest of their seeds for sowing, as a good omen for a fruitful and plentiful harvest.
The ceremony began with a Buddhist ritual prayer of blessing, extending best wishes to farmers, staunch defenders of a tradition threatened by the capitalist policies, pollution and new educational and productive systems.
The Buddhist monk Phra Maha-Wuthichai stresses that "rice is a glory ... and it is the very soul of the Thai people." This is echoed by the Director of the National Department of Agriculture Chuck-krit who recalls that "in the past, peasants worshiped God before sowing" so that their rice would grow healthy and lush. Gavin Kenny, environmentalist expert on climate and sustainable agriculture, adds that "the Thai people must be aware of the importance of the natural resource at their disposal" and to preserve it, they must pay attention "to the land, to water sources, forests and plantations" . And to do this is to pay attention to climate change and "block the use of chemical fertilizers" that are harmful in the long run.
The massive production of the crop is also the result of policies promoted by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who has encouraged the strengthening of the revenues of farmers. Analysts and policy experts point out that the vote of the Thai farmers was crucial to the victory of the Pheu Thai Party in the general election of 2011, as in the past in the electoral successes of her brother Takhsin: now the prime minister wants to reciprocate the support of her electoral base .
Weena Kowitwanij (May 14, 2013)