Of bamboo and lemang
Hasan spends his days searching the jungle for the plant, an essential part of the lemang enjoyed during Hari Raya.
Photographs by Ahmad Sadiq Mohamad Sani
For Hasan, each day begins at 7am when he makes his way into the jungle in Hulu Langat to find bamboo sticks which he sells to middlemen.
He straps a huge basket to the back of his modified motorcycle and sets off.
Each suitable stick is carefully sawed off near its roots.
Then he saws the sticks into pieces measuring about 17 inches in length – the perfect size for cooking lemang.
He bundles the sticks together with raffia string, making sure none fall out during the journey back.
Each bundle is loaded into the basket, which he will strap on his back.
The basket can weigh as much as 20kg when it is full.
Back on his motorcycle, he carefully navigates his way out of the jungle.
He easily blends in with his surroundings as he makes his way back home.
Once he is out of the jungle, he stores the sticks in a hut to keep them dry while waiting for the middlemen to collect them.
The bundles are carefully balanced in piles.
Hasan holds out his hands, smeared with dirt after a long day's work.
The bamboo sticks he collects will be used at lemang stalls like this one, where they are washed by workers and filled with rice.
A worker uses a metal scoop to fill a bamboo stick with the sticky rice.
The bamboo sticks are then placed over a fire so that the rice can cook.
Once the rice has finished cooking, the sticks are put in a trolley, ready to be sold to customers.
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