Betel Nut Consumption: Exploring Perceptions of Young Farmers in Natubleng, Buguias, Benguet, Philippines

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Heidy B. Mangali


This ethnographic study explored the perspectives of young farmers regarding betel nut chewing. This study examines the perspectives of young farmers on betel nut chewing and explores the social factors that motivate this practice. The research reveals that betel nut chewing is not simply a habit for pleasure rather it is a habit to manifest shared beliefs and perceptions. It also serves as a means of asserting one’s social identity based on the socially constructed meaning they attach to it. The habit is revealed to be a representation of masculinity among young farmers. Moreover, betel nut chewing becomes a fulcrum of socialization among young farmers. However, the study also reveals that betel nut chewing causes some issues, leading young farmers to adopt measures such as proper oral hygiene and the use of star anise (Illicium verum) to mask bad smells. The research concludes that betel nut chewing is a complex practice driven by the beliefs and social implications attached into the habit.

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