Song of Rice Transplanting

May 24th 2023
Archive of the future
Field research
Field recording
Human footprint
Listening as activism

In mid-May, the Nu River basin experienced two days of heavy rain and the moisture came from the end of the typhoon from the Bay of Bengal

For the villagers, it is urgent to transplant the rice plants now, although the water in the rice field is not yet sufficient. The two women singing are busy digging the soil with hoes before they can plant the rice seedlings. They sang impromptu to express their feelings about transplanting rice seedlings and even their views on life.


There is too much work in the farmland, digging back and forth like a hemp thread winding. I can't reach the end no matter how I dig (wind), so much melancholy is in my mind.
(In this line, the singer describes her life as cultivating the land and rolling up hemp. She can't be free and live this way. She has to live her life whatever it is).

Dig the land and we will grow old when we reach the end of the field.

If I don't work, I'll worry about food.

In my whole life, I have taken on too much work. I can't finish it. I deserve to be melancholic.

I can't live without work, and I can't work anymore. I feel my feet are already heavy when I walk up a hill.
(In this sentence, the singer expresses the feeling of ageing).

In the place where I work, I stand on a high place and sing a song out loud. I am almost old now, but I have not yet reached the end of the land.
(In this sentence, the singer metaphors that her life is not yet over).