Last chance to see
Most traditions are completely irrational. In many places they get cultivated for centuries without ever being questioned. Traditional handicraft on the other hand is a dying art in many countries. Machines are replacing work previously done by hands and produce functional products for a cheaper price. A good thing, in principle. But inevitably there is a lot of old knowledge and know-how going to disappear in the near future.
Banh Trang is the art of producing “paper” out of rice, a handcraft with a very long tradition in Vietnam and Cambodia.
A paste of rice flour is applied on a cloth, strained over steaming hot water. Already after a few seconds the material hardens, can be gently lifted off the mesh with a spatula made of bamboo and be placed in the sun to dry. Sometimes it also is dried by hanging over thick poles, also mostly from bamboo. The rice-“paper” is basis for a lot of traditional dishes throughout south-east- Asia.