Sunday, June 5, 2011

Wishing for a good harvest

A band plays Korean traditional music and a farmer sings the song of rice transplantation.

Workers in white costume hold rice seedlings in their hands.

They stand along a guided line and plant the seeds in a neat row. As they repeatedly move by the numbers, the rice paddy becomes green with seedlings.

Around this time every year, farming villages are busy transplanting rice seedlings. However, most of the work is done by machines and the old traditions are fading away.

The Rural Development Administration held an event for planting rice by hand in front of Cheonguijeong, a thatch-roofed pavilion, in Changdeok Palace in central Seoul, Tuesday. The palace is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The pavilion is the only thatch-roofed building in the palace and ancient kings planted rice in the royal paddies themselves to judge if the harvest will be good or bad. The event aimed to resuscitate such tradition.

Chun Hye-kyung, director general of the National Institute of Crop Science, said the institute will promote the importance and superiority of Korean rice. “We will manage growth of rice plants and offer rice harvest event in October,” Chun said.

The variety of rice used for planting is a new breed developed in 2009, which has the characteristics of being short with clear grains.

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