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Colours of San Thang Kermis

By VNA 12/25/2017 11:16 |

A corner of the market with the colourful costumes of Mong ethnic people.

San Thang kermis is the largest in Lai Chau province. It is not only the place for exchanging commodities, but also the rendezvous of the Dao, Mong, Thai, Giay and Lu ethnic people from the districts of Tam Duong, Phong Tho and Lai Chau city.

The kermis or Tam Duong, means t-junction in the Giay ethnic people’s language. During the French occupation, Tam Duong was the centre of present-day Lai Chau where there were roads connecting with the districts of Phong Tho, Binh Lu and Than Uyen. Therefore, the locals selected it as the place for exchanging commodities.

Due to the expansion of area together with a new road, Tam Duong now is not the centre of the region so the locals called the old market San Thang.

San Thang kermis is opened every Thursday and Sunday. From early morning, the ethnic people of  Lu, Giay, Mong, Dao and Thai, in their most beautiful costumes, flock to the market with their diverse farm products, traditional  specialties and crafted objects, creating an animated space near San Thang stream.

For the locals, the market also provides a chance for them to meet and chat with each other and even relax. Mong women in the communes of Ta Leng, Ho Thau and Sin Suoi Ho have to go to the market from the early morning because it is far from their villages to the market.  People of different ethnic groups exchange their goods at the market. Mong women bring their chickens to the market.

The Giay ethnic people in San Thang is known for making different kinds of noodles, cakes and fresh rice vermicelli.  The market is also the place for the locals to meet and chat with each other. A stall selling fabric made by the Giay ethnic people at San Thang market.  A corner of the market with the colourful costumes of  Mong ethnic people.

San Thang market is famous for rice vermicelli soup, a favourite dish of the locals.  A unique feature of the market is that buyers need not bargain with sellers over products.  Many commodities are sold at the market.  Brocade and the five-colour thread of the Mong people.  Lu women sell bamboo shoots at the market.

Many types of spices are sold at the market.  Traditional products made from rattan and bamboo by Dao women from Ho Thau commune, Tam Duong district.  Giay ethnic people in the communes of Ban Giang and Ban Hon, Tam Duong district are skillful in weaving baskets and other products .  Mong women from Ta Leng commune buy a bundle of sugar-cane for their children.  A Mong woman from Sin Suoi Ho commune sells cucumber seeds.

San Thang kermis is not only a wholesale market for trading agricultural products but a place for cultural exchanges among ethic people. Therefore, it is always filled up with laughter and talk by both adults and children.

Many sellers come here with their own commodities, mostly hand-made and natural. With their earnings, they can buy essential products for their families, ranging from vegetables, meat, cassava and sweet potato, to glutinous rice dumplings, sugar cane or cloth, clothes, needles and thread.

What should be mentioned about San Thang Market is that it still retains the peculiar features of ethnic minority markets in this mountainous region. The market is colourful with the traditional costumes of people and their goods; the shimmering patterns on the towels, bags, shirts, pants and skirts of beautiful Dao and Lu girls; the silver buttons on the dresses of White Thai girls; and beaming smiles of Mong girls. Visitors are very excited at the bustling and colourful atmosphere of this market.

The market becomes crowded on Sunday morning.  Happiness of children when they are going to the market with their mothers on Sunday morning.  Mong women sell pigs at the market.  The market impresses any tourist with its unique features. 

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