Giang wine and termites were bewildered

The mystery of Giang wine

I heard that in Ngoc Tu commune, Dak To district, there is Giang wine. I made an appointment with a colleague but missed it both times. This time, I decided to go alone to the commune. A Ly – Chairman of Ngoc Tu Commune Veterans Association, sarcastically said: “Even journalists are wrong! Giang wine is in Dak De village, Dak Ro Nga commune!”. Again. Arriving at Dak Ro Nga commune, I was enthusiastically taken by Sa Ly Suot – the commune’s cultural and information officer – to meet village chief A Hvoi, Dak De village.

Giang wine and termites were bewildered

Village chief A Hvoi climbed the t’vea tree to get Giang wine

Village chief A Hvoi is the one who often exploits the t’vea tree to make wine, but he honestly doesn’t know why the villagers know this secret. He took me to meet village elder A Rang at noon. We had to wait until the sun set in the afternoon before we met village elder A Rang returning from trapping rats in the fields. Hearing the village chief introduce that a journalist was visiting, A Rang quickly ate a few pieces of rice and then cordially welcomed the guests. The house did not have decent furniture and the weather was hot, so village elder A Rang invited guests to cool off under a tree in the garden. Leaning back against a tree, after a few long smokes, looking up at the high mountain in front of him, A Rang said: Once upon a time, long ago during my grandparents’ time, the villagers organized a hunt for wild animals. Strangely enough, that day, the group kept walking and walking without seeing any animals. Everyone in the village was exhausted, lay down under a tree and fell asleep without realizing it. Giang appeared and said to the village elder: Do you know why you can’t hunt wild animals today? In return, I will give you and the villagers something more precious than wild animals. Peel the bark of the kre tree. Cut the bamboo tube and put the bark in it. You told the young men to climb the t’vea tree and cut the fruit chamber at the top of the tree. Take a bamboo tube with kre tree bark and collect the water that flows from the cut and you will have wine to drink. T’vea wine will make you awake and healthy.

After the village elder finished fetching water, Giang disappeared. At that moment, the village elder and the group also woke up. The village elder told the story to the group of hunters when he saw Giang in his dream. The village elder ordered the young man to do as Giang told him and get wine from the juice of the t’vea tree. T’vea water is fragrant, sweet and strong… Everyone who drinks the water feels excited and stronger. Since then, Dak De villagers often drink t’vea wine. T’vea wine, also known as Giang wine, was born from there.

In the dry season, Dak De villagers often go to the mountains to exploit Giang wine. And strangely enough, the t’vea tree for Giang wine is only seen growing in the forest behind Dak De village and is rarely seen growing elsewhere.

Drink Giang wine, eat worms

Following village chief A Hvoi, we climbed the high mountainside where there are t’vea trees where the ancestors of the Xe Dang people of Dak De village met Giang. The t’vea tree that produces Giang wine grows on both sides of the steep ravine. The t’vea stem resembles the stem of coconut and jaggery. On the contrary, t’vea leaves are similar to coconut leaves, but different from palm leaves. T’vea leaves and coconut leaves grow evenly from both sides of the sheath base to the top of the sheath, while palm leaves grow like fan blades on the top of the sheath. The t’vea fruit comes out in bunches in clusters, a little larger than an areca fruit and itchy. While coconut and jaggery are much larger and do not itch. That is to say, the t’vea tree is not a palm tree as many people often mistakenly think. If anything, t’vea belongs to the coconut family.

Currently, in Dak De village, there are 8 households who often go to the mountains to exploit Giang wine. Each household harvests about 2-3 t’vea trees to make wine. Water from the t’vea tree chamber only turns into wine when kre tree bark is used as a catalyst. The kre bark has a pleasant scent. However, around the mountains where there are t’vea trees, the kre trees are no longer there because the villagers have cut down all the bark a long time ago. If you want to find the bark of the kre tree, you have to go to higher, deeper, and farther mountains to find it. To have good wine, people must scrape off the rough outer layer of the kre skin. Then, break off each piece of shell and put it into a tube. Use a giant umbrella with bark to collect the water secreted from the t’vea tree’s chamber. Depending on how much kre peel is put into the tube, Giang wine will have different flavors. Usually, 1 ounce of fresh kre peel corresponds to about 1 liter of t’vea water. T’vea water soaked in kre bark overnight becomes Giang wine. Each t’vea tree produces 5-20 liters of wine/day and night. Every day at around 4-5 p.m., people go up the mountain to get wine. Every time they go to get wine, they make a cool sip of wine to energize them before taking it home. Giang wine has a sweet, astringent taste and pleasant aroma. Drinking too much Giang wine can make you drunk. However, Giang’s wine was not enough to make him drunk.

1536287666 108 Giang wine and many bewildered termites1536287666 724 Giang wine and a bunch of bewildered termitesT’vea tree grown in the home garden

The t’vea tree that produces Giang wine can be planted. Mr. A Ly Sut – officer in charge of culture and information in Dak Ro Nga commune said: “In Dak Manh 1 village (bordering Dak De), there is Mr. A Nit who has been planting some t’vea trees for more than 10 years. The tree is tall and has given you wine so far.”

The homeowner had Giang wine and everyone was very open-minded. Anyone who wants to drink Giang wine can ask or drink with the owner. Giang wine is not sold to villagers, only sold to outsiders to buy. 1 liter of Giang wine costs from 15-20 thousand VND (depending on the wine quality of the exploiter).

Sipping Giang wine with trin (a worm that lives in young bamboo tubes) is a favorite dish of the Xe Dang people. Con tri is a parasitic worm that lives in the intestines of bamboo shoots and young bamboo shoots. Young bamboo trees with live seedlings are usually picked up, have no leaves, and are easy to identify. When they know that Lo O has bamboo, people cut down the tree, split the trunk lengthwise and pour the bamboo into a bowl, plastic bag or bamboo tube. Trin absorbs nutrients from the intestines of bamboo shoots, making them fat. A young bamboo tree usually contains about 500 worms (about more than 1 ounce).

“Put the trinity into the bamboo tube. Use forest leaves to make a stopper at the top of the tube and put the tube on the fire. When the lotus shell is scorched, the rice inside the tube will also be golden brown. You can also put the pork in the pan and roast it. Ripe, chewy, fatty and fragrant. Eating trinh and drinking Giang wine is a nutritious dish for the villagers’ health. However, because triton has a lot of nutrients, children who eat a lot can get stomachaches,” said village chief A Hvoi.

Directions for developing ecotourism

Nature seems to intend to give the Xe Dang people in Dak Ro Nga commune many precious gifts. Besides the specialty of Giang wine, con tri, right near Highway 14B passing Dak Manh 1 village (Dak Ro Nga) and Dak Bung village (Ngoc Tu), there are two quite romantic hot springs.

Climb the mountains in the primeval forest to watch villagers exploit Giang wine. When you feel tired, go down to the hot spring to bathe. After everything is done, we sit together to eat rice and drink fragrant, cool Giang wine under the stilt roof next to the sinuses of Xe Dang girls with rosy cheeks amid the sound of gongs – there really is nothing better than this. !

However, this gift has not yet received attention from the tourism industry and local authorities to exploit and develop eco-tourism. What a pity, what a pity…!!!

Articles, photos: Van Nhien

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