The title of the clip is “Indochine: Enfants annamites ramassant des sépèques devant la Pagode des dames” (Indochina: Annamese children collecting sapeques in front of the temple of women”).
It was not rice these women throwed, It was sapeques (coins with holes in the middle so they can be strung together with strings). You can see the women holding these coins in strings and then unstripped them.
See Prof. Barbara Creed paper on this “Memory and History: Early Film..” (you can google on net)
Reply by clip poster:
hduc2000, thank you again. I love learning things! I’m sure we all observe rituals today that will seem rude and disgusting 100 years from now. But they aren’t.
Actually, the women threw rice first then later they threw sapeques (zinc coin used in the old time). Yes, it was disgusting what they did from our viewpoint now. But in the old time, this was a fertility rite to throw coins (and rice) to children during the festival in Asia. The French also had the dragee-throwing tradition at the church door.
Reply from clip poster:
hduc2000, thank you for your comment. If what you have written is true, it should make us all think a little more about message, medium, cultural traditions and the types of assumptions we all have made here. Very interesting…