Ruth: So what do you call sea weed that is not from the sea? The villages along our route this morning were busy producing a nori like river weed product. Women were working the river collecting the greenery that was later slapped out into a uniform layer on a drying mat. Tomatoes, sesame seeds and slivers of onions were sprinkled on top before more slapping with a rattan brush pushed the additions well into the layer. This step also appeared to be carried out by women.
Finally, women set the finished product out to dry in he sun.
It does appear to us that the women and girls work very hard in this country, and yet in this traditional society most major decisions are made by men. What’s more, in Lao Buhddism women are viewed as spiritually inferior to men. In their cycle of rebirth they must be reborn as a man before they can achieve nirvana. I don’t think so!
We did try the dried river weed at one of our guesthouses and it is quite tasty.