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CUSTOM OF BETEL CHEWING IN HOI AN


betel & areca

The custom of chewing betel is a beautiful characteristic in traditional culture of Vietnamese and Hoi An people. It is associated with the “Legend of Betel and Areca” about the faithful-ness of love and brotherhood. Betel and Areca are used to start a conversation and help people become closer and more open with each other. They serve as offering in important traditional ceremonies, such as offering rituals, engagements, weddings, funerals and burials.

betel 7 areca

The mixture of many materials when chewing betel provides a delicious spicy taste with red juice, freshness and produces a stimulant response. Therefore, chewing betel makes red lip, pink cheeks, maintaining glossy black teeth and mouth fragrant. It was also a beauty method for women in the past.

A betel kit includes a knife for splitting the areca nuts and shaping the betel leaves, a pot of lime, a tube of lime paste, a little stick used to spread lime paste on the betel leaf, a box of sliced tobacco. The betel, areca and another items are contained in lacquer wooden boxes, trays or bamboo baskets. Sometimes they take some mixedbetel quids along in a bag when going out.

Nowadays, custom of betel chewing is getting less popular. However, betel and areca nuts are an indispensable betrothal gift during traditional weddings and offering rituals.