In The Chips In Southeast Asia and Southern China–Quickflight

by bria4123 on October 11, 2012


Sorry for the corny pun. The spirit of this post has gotten into me, and I felt like saying something old-hat.

And the relationship between person and buffalo is ancient in Southeast Asia and southern China–and very hallowed. This man in a village near Yangshuo, China, wanted to show me. He was swimming as I was savoring the countryside. The buffalo suddenly approached me very quickly. It was big and butt-ugly, so I backed off. The man got out of the water and came over to demonstrate that he’s friendly. He then asked me to pet him. The hairs on his head were as thick as an elephant’s, but he enjoyed the rubbing. I should have known that he just wanted some love.

More than 5,000 years ago, rice-growing communities sprouted along the Yangtze River and in many places in mainland Southeast Asia. Since ancient times, humanity’s partnership with this noble animal has represented well-being.

So I was more comfortable when the above buffalo approached me later in the trip, in Vietnam. This animal is very honored in Vietnamese culture. The image of a child on a buffalo’s back has symbolized peace and prosperity in Vietnam–things that this stunningly beautiful land has often lacked because of invading foreigners and its own rapacious politicians.

Man on one end of the plow, strong and enduring animal on the other. This is one of the most ancient images of wellness in Southeast Asia. In a land full of mysterious energies, this partnership has symbolized civilized life.

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