As we continue to follow the theme of realist images of workers, I would like to share with you the rice farmer we stopped to watch, along a road in Guilin, China. She was harvesting the tall rice plants with a sickle, and the picturesque nature of the scene reminded me immediately of Millet’s 19c. paintings. Our private guide knew my interest in photography, so she stopped our van alongside this field when she spotted the woman working. Quietly we emerged from the van and watched her, and at first she toiled on, unaware of us.
Next, she began to assemble her thresher. (Not being a farmer, I am guessing at the correct term.)
When she looked up to see our family of five quietly observing her — and me quietly photographing her — she smiled, and with gestures invited us to come closer to see what she was doing. Then, she led my husband Charlie and daughter Erin to run some of the rice plants through the thresher to experience the process. It was a beautiful moment of sharing between people from opposite sides of the globe, who knew not a word of the other’s language. It was a spontaneous moment of cultural sharing that we cherish and will never forget.