Ly, 38 — Making Banh Trang
Ly, 38 — Making Banh Trang — Hoi An, Vietnam
“Making Bánh Tráng (crispy rice crackers) by hand requires a lot of time. Each day, I make 700. In the rainy season, I work from 4 AM to 4 PM.”
After making the paste with rice flour and sesame seeds Ly spreads it on a cheesecloth stretched over a bowl of water. A wood fire below boils the water creating steam that cooks the paste. Because it’s an overcast day she dries the cooked rice crackers inside over small beds of coals. Layer upon layer of rice crackers are spread about in her traditional kitchen.
“This has been my job for more than 10 years. It’s hard work, which is why not many people in my village do it anymore. Most families used to do it, but now they have better job options. To continue the job, you have to love and have a passion for it. I always do it and love it (smiles). It’s also is fun and gives me freedom, so I can take care of my children and family; I can also work or not whenever I want to.”
“You have to be skillful to spread the flour liquid otherwise… Seriously you should have a passion for it. Doing any job, we should have persistence.”
Ly, 38 years old
Hoi An, Vietnam