Some of my earliest memory was following grandma to the village’s Chợ (wet market). The streets lividly were lined with fresh flowers from nearby farms and vendor’s stalls.
Chợ was the center of all activities in the village. That was where farmers sold their produce, villagers met their friends and relatives. Back then, everything was grown out of villager’s garden. Most things especially meat and egg were scared. Grandma would pick a small slice of meat, usually pork, some spices from the dry stall nearby, and plenty of colorful fresh herbs. She sometimes would bring her own chicken eggs to trade with neighbor for beef when someone had extra.
Close to 40 years gone by, grandma had long passed, many things have changed. I still fondly remember sitting on one side of the 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐧𝐡 𝐠á𝐧𝐡 (carrier, 2nd picture) among the herbs chewing on the peanut candy bought by grandma looking at things for the first time beyond grandma’s garden. That was one of the best and purest joy.
The daily trip to the market was very much anticipated by me and my younger sister whom I had to fight with for the seat on grandma’s special 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐧𝐡 𝐠á𝐧𝐡. The experience has reminded us how food has become not just a life’s necessity, but also bring people together and build community, be it in a remote northern Viet village, or a modern cosmopolitan society.
✍️ and 📸 by: @lg.and.camera
2nd Photo credit: https://cand.com.vn/Phong-su-Tieu-diem/Don-ganh-Vat-dung-than-dieu-cua-nguoi-Viet-Nam-i558440/