With its history of establishment and special and unique culture, Hanoi was in the past named Kẻ Chợ. Markets exist, develop and change along the rhythm of life of the capital city.
Many markets in Hanoi now only exist in people’s memories as they have been turned into commercial centers or disappeared but markets are still present as part of the history and culture of Hanoi and are essential for each family.
The Exhibition “Stories of Markets” shared with visitors memories of old markets, real situation of present markets and expectations for future markets through archive photos and diverse and multi-dimensional voices from people, sellers and buyers. During the opening of exhibition ‘Stories of markets’Sigrid Wertheim-Heck, Director Marketing and Business Development Fresh Studio presented her perspective on the development of markets:
“First of all Fresh Studio would like to thank the Vietnamese Women’s Museum for the invitation for collaboration to jointly and with shared passion prepare this exhibition.
My organization, Fresh Studio, has the mission to make safe and good foods available to consumers in Vietnam. With markets dominant in food, and in particular fresh food, distribution, we are pleased to be able to contribute to an exhibition that puts the past presence and future of markets center stage.
Living in Vietnam for over 7 years I have followed the developments of multiple markets. To me markets are like the soul of the city. Markets represent the Vietnamese love for food and the social cohesion in communities. It is at markets that not only daily foods are purchased, but also where people meet and greet and stories are shared. It is essentially within this meaning beyond economic transactions of goods and money, that markets are a unique retailing concept that can’t be compared with so called ‘modern’ supermarkets and convenience shops.
Indeed, markets face challenges in meeting the safety and hygiene requirements of modern times, but as this exhibition so beautifully demonstrates, markets are not static. They transform over time. Currently markets in Vietnam are on the crossroad for future development. When looking ahead it is important to appreciate their past and present meaning in everyday life.
We hope you all enjoy the exhibition and wish that it inspires the sharing of stories and thoughts on markets, ranging from childhood memories to contemporary anecdotes and suggestions for future development.
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Source: Fresh Studio, Sigrid Wertheim-Heck
Publication date: March 2014
Read more about the exhibition ‘Stories of Markets’: