Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:44 AM

Mangoes Galore!

Mango season is here, and there are plenty to go around.

Colorful mangoes adorn market stalls. Children rushing up mango trees often directed by adults stationed at the bottom of the tree.

In some cases they cause a small traffic jam, particularly at the junction near Sol-plaza, some stand at the road just to take better aim at the juicy mangoes.

"Thats ok, they can wait, its not a problem," said one of them as he took aim, dressed for the office but probably on a betelnut break.

"We skip school just to get mangoes along the side pavements in town," says 12 year old Jake Lakohs. "This mango season is quite exciting, as more trees around the city area are fruitful."

"We get told off many times by officers around the public areas, as many times, we try to take the mangos down with stones, and most times the stones end up on office roofs. When we don't have luck, we look for trees in private areas and ask permission to climb the trees," says 10 year old Bernard Sibi.

Many go to great lengths just to have a taste of delicious mangoes. And of course, you could never blame children for trespassing when the prices of mangoes at the market is $10, money they don't often have.

Solomon Islanders may feel that the mango fruit is native to Solomon Islands, but the common variety is found in South Asia from where it has been distributed worldwide to become one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics.

The "common mango" or "Indian mango"—is the only mango tree commonly cultivated in many tropical and subtropical regions, and the mango found in most of the Solomon Islands. How did it get here? Drifted through the vast oceans? Brought by early explorers? All of the above?

Interestingly, it is the national fruit of India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, and the national tree of Bangladesh. It may not hold similar status in the Solomon Islands, but if it causes traffic jam in a busy city, and kids are skipping school for it, it might as well be.

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