Friday, May 12, 2006

Post No. 66: “谁知盘中餐,粒粒皆辛苦?”

I got the photo above from my JC classmate's blog and for the benefit of those who are not able to read the words beneath the photo clearly, the words are:

The photo in the mail is the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo taken in 1994 during the Sudan famine. The photo depicts a famine stricken child crawling towards an United Nations food camp, located a kilometer away.

The vulture is waiting for the child to die so that it can eat it. The picture shocked the whole world. No one knows what happened to the child, including the photographer Kevin Carter who left the place as soon as the photograph was taken.

Three months later he committed suicide due to depression.

Well, I don’t know about you all but when I was much younger, my parents, in their efforts to make me finish my food & not to waste it, frequently said this to me: “快把你的饭吃完! 你要知道非洲的小孩饿到连树皮都吃!” (for the benefit of those who can’t read Mandarin, this roughly means: “Quickly finish your food! Do you know that children in Africa are starving until they have to eat tree bark?”). Of course, my parents also warned me about how if I don’t finish my food, each grain of cooked rice I leave uneaten on my plate will become the spots & pimples on my future girlfriend’s/wife’s face. Hmm… I suppose that my parents’ efforts were not in vain, as I am not much of a food-waster now, not that I was ever a food-waster or particularly choosy about my food.

However, I suppose that as I grew older, I started to forget about these cautionary tales my parents told me or perhaps relegated them to the status of being similar to stories about how the police would come and catch children if they were naughty or disobedient.

Well, as it can be clearly seen from the photo above, the tale about starving African children is no mere fable cooked up by grown-ups to scare young children into finishing their food. In fact, if grown-ups really wanted to scare their food-wasting children, they would have not spared their children from the full force of the truth but instead tell them these starving African children may not even have tree bark to eat and that they usually end up dead & hungry. And no, I’m not trying to scare you all. I guess it's such kind of stuff that shakes people's faith.

I don’t know about you all but I always found it rather ironic, in a sad way, that while there are obese children who need to go through weight-loss programmes for their health, there are also children in other parts of the world that are starving not by choice. Equally, if not more, ironic is the fact that while there are those who can’t find any food to eat, there are people whom are actually willing to spend $101 on a gourmet burger like the one shown below.

Where am I going with all this rambling? Well, besides the obvious purpose of reminding you all not to waste food, I suppose that I also seek to remind you all to not always just complain about what we don’t have & seeking to fulfil our never-ending wants but also to look at & cherish what we do have and to show concern towards those who have much less than us.

P.S. For those who are interested to know the story behind the first photo above in greater detail, please access the following website: And for those who are interested in the state of world hunger, the following website may be useful:

1 comment:

manchi said...

omg i saw that foto back in JC before! ahha yea I was like quite traumatized by it for quite a while... been trying to look for it ever since then and there it is now on your blog!

Post a Comment