Wheat harvest season in the Syrian countryside is more than an end stage in an agricultural cycle, it is the time when people strengthen their relationships and get to know each other very well. Back in the 1970s, before the introduction of combine harvesters, farmers used conventional methods. A sickle and a strong hand were the only means for rounding up the harvest. Since one farmer could not do everything alone – all his children, his neighbors, and their children, grandchildren, and his neighborhood community would give a helping hand on the day of harvesting.
 
The harvest begins in the early morning. Kids wake up at 5:00 a.m. to get ready for this pleasant day. The farmers, both men and women, take their positions at the farm and begin working while kids play. Positive energy fills the air as adults work and sing; there are no rules at harvest time. Young men steal a glance at girls here and there, but they do it carefully and discreetly. No words are exchanged. Others could meet the love of their lives on this day and start planning their marriage.
 
What Next …?? 🤔
 
At the end of the day, wheat is piled into a small hilly stack called Albayder in preparation for threshing. Wheat is the cornerstone of any Syrian farmer’s daily activities. The farmers’ wives use the wheat flour to bake a Syrian traditional bread called Tandoor Bread” or “Tannour Bread 😋. Some wheat is stored, and will be used in mid-September to make Bulgur” or “Burgul.
 

Is Burgul Another Story ?? 😋

MakingBurgul is another harvest story that requires the collaboration of all farmers’ hands and families. Generally, making burgul is a process that begins with “Salleqa” (from the word salaq: to boil). Wheat is poured into one bulky container used exclusively for that purpose. Water is added to the pot, and a small fire is lit underneath, cooking the wheat until it gets mushy. Using small containers, women then transport the boiled wheat to the upper floors of the houses and spread it to dry. Kids also claim a portion of salleqa to which they add some sugar and eat right away. 
Harvest day and the selleqa festival is an icon of Syrian countryside summers where people get to know each other. They share nature’s bounty along with loving and caring for one another. This countryside ritual stands in contrast to the big city lifestyle. People in the Syrian countryside care more about enjoying and appreciating the moment than worrying about what tomorrow might bring.
 
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