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Munnar, India - January, 12, 2011: harvesting the second flush of tea leaves a female employee uses a specially adapted set of shears to cut and collect the fresh tea leaves. This photo was taken on a tea plantation in Munnar, a hill station in the Kannan Devan Hills in Kerala, south India. It was early on a bright sunny morning.
Munnar is one of the largest tea producing regions in the world. Its tea has a pleasant distinctive taste. The British in the 1900's really began to exploit tea as a commercial product. Munnar is one of several highland tea producing regions in India unlike Assam tea which is cultivated at sea level. Today tea production is managed to such a degree that the labour force traditionally from other parts of India, Tamil Nadu, for example is provided with schools, hospitals, housing, and so forth. Women predominantly pick the tea leaves. It is a skilled job and physically demanding. Men seem to work in the tea factories, as drivers, etc. This photograph was taken on a visit to one of the tea plantations in Munnar, Kerala, south India. It was early morning and the sun is just breaking through the mist. What can also be seen are some of the undulating hills which characterise this region. They are known as the Kannan Devan hills. The shot was taken during the winter season when temperatures can be quite cool.