The word “chợ” (market) is frequently encountered in Vietnamese proverbs and folk songs.

A girl looking for a man of her heart will wonder:

“I’m like a length of rose silk

Waiting in the market for the right buyer.”

A young wife unsure of her husband’s feeling will complain

“A wife’s love for her husband is like a market at its busiest,

A husband’s love for his wife is like the market about to close.”

The phrase “chợ đã về chiều” (afternoon market) expresses the sadness accompanying the end of a meery-making party of old age.

Parochialism is best expressed by the proverb “A market has its regulations , a village has its customs”.

All this shows how important “the rural market” is to the life of farmers, the more so in the old days when, as a result of the self-sufficient character of the rural economy, each hamlet was provided with its own little market.

A hamlet market is held in the open early in the morning, for people to buy and sell in a hurry fish, crabs or prawns, groundnuts, taros and other farm produce in season, or even some sewing thread ora needle.

A Vietnam rural market of the village is a bigger thing. Often it is held at a large place where several roads meet, or close to a river. Goods are available in greater quantity and variety, disappeared in permanent or temporary stalls.

Vietnam Rural market are held everyday but are the busiest on principal days, often the second, sixth, 12th, 16th , 22th and 26th of the lunar month. The crowd is made up of mostly by housewives.

Mountain markets are veritable fairs where people of different ethnic groups will come for romance or a drinking about.

Fish market, held on the beach, last just long enough for fishermen to dispose of their night catch.

In the Mekong River Delta, people sell and buy rice, fruit, chickens, and fish right on the many canals that crisscross the region.

And Tet Market Day is a wonderful experience.

At Gia Lac, a village near Hue, Tet market used to fall on the last day of the lunar year, with people gathering in the dark, hence the name of “Market of Shadows”. Now, Gia Lac inhabitants go to Tet market in the afternoon. Now Gia Luan inhabitants go to Tet market in the afternoon, but the goods trade in have always been the same – luck, which ever-bodyneeds in the life

Source : Wandering through Vietnamese Culture (Author : Huu Ngoc).

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