Rice is a very important part of Southeast Asia’s economy. It is a major food source and export for the countries. Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar are this region’s top producers of rice, Vietnam and Thailand being among the world’s top exporters. A majority of the land is arable, providing soil suitable for rice plantations. There is fertile soil, an abundant amount of water, and a tropical wet climate. The flooding of the Chao Phraya and Mekong Rivers irrigates “rice paddies”, which are the fields in which rice is grown. Rain plays a big part in the rice production, because growing rice requires slightly flooded fields.
China was one of the first producers of rice, and is one of the top producers today. Just like other regions, a majority of those living in Southeast Asia were originally from countries other than those of that region. Many descended from ancestors from China and India, greatly influencing the culture of Southeast Asia. Also, China had control over parts of Southeast Asia for a very long time, providing lots of time to be influenced. During this time, Southeast Asia became a major producer of rice.
Rice has influenced many aspects of Southeast Asia. Not only has it altered the landscape, it has also played a huge part in the region’s economy. The region produces rice to feed its people and to sell for a profit. Many peoples’ lives in this region are dedicated to rice production. Also, the production of rice has benefited many empires in Southeast Asia. I believe that rice will continue to be a very important aspect of Southeast Asian culture. With other regions in Asia being top producers of rice, Southeast Asia has been influenced to be a producer of rice, also.
Boehm, Richard G. World Geography and Cultures. Columbus, Ohio: Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 2012. Print.
“Rice_Terraces_Sapa_Vietnam1.” Photograph. Southeast Asia Backpacker. S.E.A. Backpacker, 2012. Web. 1 May 2012.
“South East Asia: A Rice Ingrained Culture.” Southeast Asia Backpacker. S.E.A. Backpacker, 2012. Web. 1 May 2012.