I first saw this picture on the internet last Sunday morning – a young cousin of ours from St.Lucia, Turshan Maxwell grating coconut the traditional way using the very traditional grater where the coconut is grated from the hard shell. It is a skill you learn after much practice… so I was quite surprised to see him, a young man who is an architect by profession, still using this traditional method to grate coconut. The traditional grater is a long metal with a scraper at the end. He is sitting on the long metal piece, with his hands holding the hard outer part of the coconut while he scrapes the hard white, inner part of the coconut.
You can see the grated coconut falling in the bucket… and on the side there are still several cracked coconuts waiting to be grated.
In this next picture, his grandma joined him. She is in her 90’s. She is still very sound-minded and simply a beautiful soul who is still very independent. My guess is that Turshan got tired, grandma took the grater from him and he moved on to his smart phone. The number of coconuts left to be grated have been reduced significantly. The grated coconut is usually used to make coconut oil which is widely used for cooking, hair products and even for moisturizing the skin.
I love both photos. I love the intensity with which each one is wrapped up in their own world within such a close proximity of space. It is such an amazing contrast between the two worlds – young and old; new technology and old tradition.
What a great opportunity for grandma and grandson to share in this activity. In this particular household, I know that the children have always been very much integrated into the lives of their grandparents.
TuneIn to the needs of our elderly. They need us in their lives just as much as we need them in our lives – partly to remind us of our fragility and that we all grow old. StepUp and reach out … the old and the new can certainly be a powerful duo!