Asia / photography / travel / Travelling / Travels / Vietnam

The Rice Lady of Hoi An


When I hear the word factory, my mind shifts to images of machinery and workers labouring away in warehouses. I don’t think of a small barefoot Vietnamese lady and her two sons processing rice for the local community, yet that is exactly what I found in Hoi An on the Jack Tran Eco Tour. When we pulled up to the factory, no bigger than a studio apartment, we were greeted not only by the owners but by the locals who had come to drop off their bags of unprocessed rice for the family to sort. Shelling the husks, cleaning, removing debris collected from the ground, all day this family repeats the process again and again so that the villagers may take a bag of rice home, a bag that will feed their families for over a week. In keeping with the overall theme I found to be at the heart of Vietnam, the workers were happy. They enjoyed having us there, learning about their work and their daily routine. They showed us how to use the machinery and once we had learned, they were only too happy to pose for a picture. The Rice Lady spends her whole day in this spot, providing for her community with a smile on her face.


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