Behind the scenes at a Coconut farm - Traditional Phangan Culture

12 Aug 2015

Phanganist visited a coconut processing plant and our photographer Oum Kultov was lucky enough to get some behind the scenes pictures and tell us a little more about what they do.
The plant is relatively small and is located close to the roadside, outdoors in Baan Tai.

The plant employs ten workers, mostly women and they work extremely hard! What is surprising to see is that, apart from two very men who seem to be the sons of the other workers. The majority are actually quite mature, strong and traditional Thai people.

There is great physical strength required to withstand even just a few hours and peel coconuts.

There is a sharp spear stuck with a pole in the ground, using strong pressure they pulp the coconut on the edge of the spear by turning the circumference of the nut.

The shell is thrown into a pile to be burnt at the end of the day.

There are truly enormous piles and piles of coconuts and shells everywhere.

It seems to be a job for life, even after the retirement age.

Despite all the difficulty of the work, I noticed the happiness and smiles and it looks as though the workers enjoy it, at least we hope!

They were fascinated by the photography but even still, they did not even really notice me, which is a photographer's dream, to be like a fly on the wall.

This generation of people are vanishing, so they really need to be applauded and respected. On the one hand, it seems like slavery and on the other hand, it seems very natural to me. They are very physically fit and healthy this is probably because of their routine of working and honouring the Temple instead of just watching TV.