Ploughing the land in tune with nature

These ethnic Miao villagers took part in a ploughing competition to usher in summer last Saturday at Liuzhou, in Guangxi province, China.

The first day of the seventh "solar term" of the Chinese lunar calendar, which divides a year into 24 solar terms, signifies the beginning of summer in many East Asian cultures.

The Miao people are one of the largest ethnic groups in the province of Guangxi, and agriculture is the chief means of subsistence for them.

While rice is their main crop, they also grow corn, yam, millet, sorghum, beans, wheat, buckwheat, fruit, cotton, tobacco, peanuts and a large number of hot peppers, among other crops.

In the past, weeding was thought to be a woman's job, while ploughing was left to men.

Today, both women and men plough and do other farm work.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'Ploughing the land in tune with nature'. Print Edition | Subscribe