Photo of the Week: A Hand in Rice Production

I love this photo. I love the color, the focus, the position, but mostly I love the innocence portrayed in it.

Girl holding rice at factory in Battambang, Cambodia


This is the hand of my tour guide, a little girl who couldn’t have been more than 10 years old.

The bamboo train in Battambang had stopped at a ‘tourist trap’ where there was nothing to do but buy a tee shirt or a drink, and a slew of little children had run up to our group asking if we wanted to see the rice factory.

Taking me through fenced gates and over rooster filled yards, this little girl finally stopped outside a giant barn door through which dozens of bags of rice were visible, and started explaining the varieties of rice to me.

“This rice is brown and is for people to eat. This rice not good. People no eat. This rice for the pigs. This rice is for…”

She was adorable and seemed decently knowledgeable, taking me through the rice production process, explaining which machines did what, which rice came out of where and what was done with it, rambling off the information like a seasoned pro.

Girl in rice factory
“This is where the rice comes out.” The tour continues amidst ancient machinery.

I guess she was doing her part to support the community, and when she stuck her hand out, this time empty, quoting one dollar each, we did ours: we paid up.

2 thoughts on “Photo of the Week: A Hand in Rice Production”

  1. The child is cute and smart. A lot of the children know what the foreigners are looking for when they see us. I ran into a similar situation in Siem Reap with a young lady of about 14 years old who explained the myths of Ankor Wat temples for a couple of dollars, Pretty cool.

    1. They are very smart, and you’re right, they know the drill, what foreigners are looking for. The only problem is that we don’t know how the child is actually being treated, or where the money goes. Have you come across any situations where you were uncomfortable with the ‘child guide’?

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