You can find them outside the cities all over the island of Sri Lanka. We are talking about the countless rice fields on which the farmers work to supply the country.
Already as we leave the city of Colombo behind, we drive past huge rice fields. The fields are artfully laid out and often reach up to the mountainous landscape of the island.
The teams of oxen in front of a primitive wooden plow are still used to plow the fields as they did hundreds of years ago. The workers move in the deep mud. A physically hard job that is mostly done by men, while harvesting is usually the job of women.
Team of oxen and rice farmers on a paddy field – Sri Lanka
The individual terraces are kept moist by a sophisticated irrigation system to give the rice plants the basis for growth.
The wages of work are so low that it provides families with the essentials for everyday life. The rice farmers mostly live in poorest huts on the edge of the rice fields.
Despite the difficult life, people are mostly happy and friendly. Sowing and harvesting take place several times a year because the growing conditions on the island are optimal.