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Customs of Chewing Betel, Areca Nuts and Smoking Rustic Tobacco

According to legends, chewing quid of betel and areca has been a custom since the Hung Vuong period and connected with the antique legend of betel and areca.

A quid of betel is called trau consists of 4 elements: an areca leaf (sweet taste), betel bark (hot taste), a chay root (bitter taste), and hydrated lime (pungent taste). The custom of chewing betel nut is exclusive to Vietnam. Previous health books claim that "chewing betel and areca nut makes the mouth fragrant, decreases unhealthy tempers, and makes digesting food easy". A quid of betel makes people become nearer and a lot of openhearted. At any bridal ceremony, there should be a dish of betel and areca nut, which people can share as they get pleasure from the big day.

Betel, Areca NutsDuring festivals or Tet Holidays, betel and areca nut is employed for inviting guests and creating acquaintances. Sharing a quid of betel with an old friend is like expressing gratitude for the connection. A quid of betel and areca nut makes people feel warm on cold winters days, and through funerals it relieves disappointment. Betel and areca nuts are utilized in offerings. When Vietnamese people worship their ancestors, betel and areca nut must be presented at the altar. Nowadays, the custom of chewing betel remains well-liked in some Vietnamese villages and among the old.

Don't forget to say thuoc lao or robust tobacco. For women, betel can initiate varied female conversation, except for men, thuoc lao is expounded to their joyfulness together with the disappointment in their lives.

Peasants always carry their dieu cay (pipe for smoking while ploughing the rice fields).


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