Friday Fun: All About Rice!

One of the oldest wedding traditions, the custom of throwing rice, originated with the ancient Hindus and Chinese. In these cultures, rice is the symbol of fruitfulness and prosperity. Tossing it after the ceremony was believed to bestow fertility upon the bride and groom while eating rice and other grains was thought to guarantee health, wealth and happiness for the newlyweds. Today, rice tossing is being replaced by the more ecologically friendly birdseed tossing, because uncooked rice is damaging to birds that eat it off the ground.

Here’s a few more tidbits:

  • In China a typical greeting, instead of “How are you?” is “Have you had your rice today?” A greeting to which one is expected to always reply, “Yes”.
  • Rice is the first food a new Indian bride offers her husband, perhaps instead of wedding cake; it is also the first food offered to a newborn.
  • Honda means “main rice field.” Toyota means “bountiful rice field.”
  • Arkansas is the largest rice producing state in the US
  • Louis Armstrong signed his autograph “Red Beans and Ricely Yours…”
  • In India, it is said that grains of rice should be like two brothers: close but not stuck together.
  • In Thailand when you call your family to a meal you say, “Eat Rice.”
  • The Japanese word for ‘cooked rice’ is the same as the word for ‘meal’.