A Tasty Drop
Directed by Ramich Moeun, 2021, 24mn25s, Tampuan version, English subtitle.
I am Moeun Ramich, male, 22 years old, of Tampuan indigenous ethnicity, and Khmer nationality. I was born on 9 March 1999 in Kachon Kroam village, Kachon commune, Veunsai district in Ratanakiri province, and I still live there. I am a Grade 12 student of Virak Chhey High School.
I chose the jar wine topic because I was afraid that the the way of making natural yeast, which is part of our culture, would be lost. I wanted to show the traditional Tampuan method of mixing a lot of ingredients, including tree roots, together to make natural yeast for the production of jar wine. In addition, I would like to emphasise the value of jar wine to everyone, particularly indigenous youth, so that they will learn about yeast making and maintain the ancient legacy and traditions of the Tampuan indigenous people.
In Kachon Kroam village, Kachon commune, Veunsai district in Rattanakiri province, there is one woman who can make natural yeast by mixing many types of tree roots. She is Loch Chern, and she is 61 years old. Her husband’s name is Voeun Moeun, and they have 8 children — 3 sons, and 5 daughters. She still continues to make natural yeast and wine. She goes to the forest to cut tree roots and mixes them together to make yeast for jar wine, which has been an essential part of Tampuan traditional culture since ages past. The commune elders often drink natural jar wine at rituals such as Sen Arak (Arak spirit offering, rice spirit offerings, Village guardian spirit offering, and wedding ceremonies. It is very important to the Tampuan people.