Callouses are my Everyday Life

By: Ena Im


In Kchah village, Kchah commune, Sout Nikom district, Siem Reap province, rows and rows of Krolan sellers line a major road. Photo by: Ena Im   


Lorn La is one of the bamboo sticky rice sellers. She learned how to cook Bamboo sticky rice from her mother. Photo by: Leza Sorn


Bamboo sticky rice is cooked on a long wooden charcoal grill. 100 bamboo sticks can be cooked at a time. Photo by: Ena Im


Every day, Lorm La wakes up early in the morning at 2:00 am to cook 100 pieces of bamboo sticky rice. Photo by: Panharith Pov


Inside the bamboo, the rice is really sticky. Some red beans are added to make the rice more delicious. Photo by: Wathna Sao


On top of the bamboo sticky rice, Lorm La adds a rice-straw bung to make the rice stickier. Photo by: Wathna Sao



It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to cook bamboo sticky rice. Photo by: Ena Im


After the bamboo sticky rice has been cooked, Lorm la shaves the bamboo to make it smoother. Photo by: Dyna Chem


Because of shaving the bamboo every day, she has callouses on her hands. Photo by: Ena Im


The bamboo sticky rice can only be kept for two days, after which it won’t be fresh to eat. Photo by: Ena Im


 If there is a festival like water festival, Lorm La can sell 250-300 hundred pieces of bamboo sticky rice in a day. Photo by: Huykea Sun


Lorm La likes doing cross-stitch in her free time. “I have three sons. All of them are studying now. I hope my children do well in their learning and I really want my children to have a good education so that they can get a better joband not a tiring job like I am doing now. Making and selling the bamboo sticky rice is a really tiring job. You have to wake up early every day, you get callouses and you have to wait for customers to come from morning until evening.” Photo by: Dyna Chem


“I started selling the bamboo sticky rice eight years ago. I hope to keep this traditional snack alive for my next generation. It is really important to keep this food alive because it is one of the traditional snacks in Cambodia and if one person stops doing it and another person stops doing too, this snack will one day disappear. Losing one of our traditional snacks is like losing our whole culture, and it shows that we aren’t respectful towards our ancestor who made this snack.” Photo by: Ena Im





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