The Rohingyas On Land – Betelmania

Betel leaf chewing

A Rohingya hawker wrapping areca nut, herbs, spices, slaked lime and tobacco with betel leaf. The pan-Asian tradition of betel quid chewing goes where the addicts go.

At any local Rohingya or Burmese community, one will see many street kiosks blending their own version of the ancient chewing gum.

In researching the ingredients, I found out there is no such thing as a betel nut. It is actually the areca nut which is not a nut but a fruit. The stone fruit (drupe) causes the infamous and sought-after red staining of the mouth.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 800, f4, 1/200 sec.

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