The Land Of Smiles Essay

1449 words - 6 pages

Thailand is referred to as the “Land of Smiles” as Thais use smiles for many different situations. There are happy smiles but one smile the “yim soo” smile is used when the situation is so bad and tense that all one can do is smile (Jesus). But Thais have a lot to smile about though their life expectancy is only on average 69 years. As agriculture is 54% of Thailand’s wealth and economy. Thailand’s agricultural based economy ties very well into the ceremonies they perform (Frances 7-8).
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and covers 198,115 square miles. The capital city is Bangkok and other major cities are Chiang Mia, Ayutthaya, and Nakhon Ratchasima. The official language of Thailand is Thai and 95% of Thais are Buddhists. 75% of people are Thai and 14% Chinese (Frances 7-8).
One agricultural product produced by Thailand is cassava. There are many different names throughout the continents of the world but in the Asian continent, tapioca is its name. Its yuca in Spanish-speaking countries and in South America specifically around the Brazil area it is called madioca. No matter the name, cassava has brought a lot of revenue to Thailand through exporting tapioca flour (Thai Tapioca Starch Association). Tapioca flour or tapioca starch is found by removing the starch from the cassava root of the plant. Once the roots have fully grown, they’re harvested, and go through a process to have toxins removed so that the starch may be extracted. It is extracted by repeatedly washing and pulping the root and then taking the liquid and separating it out (Tapioca Flour). The two types of cassava are sweet and bitter. Sweet cassava is edible for humans. It is not bitter and has a low acid content. It is planted more for home use then for commercial purposes and because the market for sweet cassava is small in Thailand. Bitter cassava is used in processing and making tapioca starch, tapioca pellets, and alcohol. It has a high acid content and a lot of this is grown in Thailand (Thai Tapioca Starch Association).
Though not native to Thailand nor recognized as much as rice, corn is grown extensively and is an essential part of Thailand’s agriculture as a large amount of corn is exported every year. Grown in the valleys is rice, but up in the higher lands there are non-irrigated fields full of corn as far the eye can see. In some provinces more acres of land is planted with maize then with corn. In places, the two crops grow up together, the rice growing on rice paddies with the corn growing on the land surrounding the rice or up on the hill or mountain slopes. Much labor is invested in planting corn by the women. Much work is also put in the previous months: burning the dry weeds, leaves, and stalks from the previous harvest, tilling and ploughing the fields but growing these is done the traditional way in Thailand as is pulling the weeds and harvesting the corn. 90% of the corn farmers sell to dealers. The 10% held back will be stored at home, some will be...

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