Exhibition “Story of the market”

(VOVworld) - An exhibition titled “Story of the market” has been opened at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. At the exhibition, markets of the past, present and future are vividly depicted through dimensional photos of buyers and sellers. VOV reporter Le Phuong takes you there.

Exhibition “Story of the market” - ảnh 1

The display reproduces an old market space alongside a contemporary market. When visitors take their first step into the large yard, they are amazed to find themselves in the ancient market. Dozens of stalls, whose roofs are thatched with bamboo leaves, display a great variety of Vietnamese rural specialties, including agricultural products, sweets and handicrafts. The section featuring the markets in the past with the familiar bamboo-made objects of is the highlight of the exhibition. For many visitors, especially the old ones, the expo brings back to them memories of the past. Ms. Nguyen Kim Hanh recalled: "The market space in the past was so cozy. People just wandered around shopping for things to take home. Apart from going shopping, some might stop at food stalls to enjoy some snacks. Familiar images from the market were sellers carrying goods with shoulder poles, some even used a sugar crane in order to carry things". 

The exhibition’s displays are arranged as a chronological history of markets from the past, into the present and on into the future. The past markets were revived with bamboo baskets, straws, shoulder poles. The present-day markets featured stalls of dried food, street-side tea shops, places where people gather to relax and chat. In the vision of a future market corner, visitors can share their ideas for improved markets in the years to come. Visiting the expo, visitors also have chance to enter these market spaces. Ms. Hanh is explaining to her grandchild how to measure out corn: "In the past, those who measured and sold screened rice were called rice millers, while the others selling things like alum and safety-pins were called small wares vendors. Now, the goods are more diversified and sold in different sections. In the past, goods were measured in the units of packages and bowls not in kilos as now". 

Exhibition “Story of the market” - ảnh 2

The noise of the sellers and buyers are typical of any market. People come to the expo just to immerse themselves in the memories of the past as many markets in the capital city have now been replaced with commercial shopping centers. Sigrid Wertheim from Italy is keen on documentary films about changes in Hanoi’s markets over different periods: "Personally, I love this: the noise, the smell. It makes we feel like in our daily life. There are so many stories to tell about the market. They are different from supermarkets. I think it is really a particular part of living in Vietnam especially in Hanoi". 

The space of the country markets attracts many visitors and offers a variety of country specialties such as hot plain rice flan, and grilled rice pancakes. Le Thi Thu from Hung Yen province is a visitor: "The food is delicious and the sellers are so friendly. The markets of the old days are vividly  reflected here". 

Mr. Bui Van Doan from Ha Noi said: "I feel so moved to be here. The expo is not only a place where I can learn something about the past but is also a chance to raise funds to support poor women in the countryside. Many of my friends have also come here".

The expo raises public awareness about the important role that markets play in people’s lives. It will also hopefully the authorities and community to take more action to protect these traditional and vital markets.