By Trần Hoàng Nam
A market on the western outskirts of Hà Nội holds a surprise.
There is nowhere else in the city you can find fish traps and hundreds of other utensils made of bamboo like Hà Đông Market.
Bamboo and rattan goods at Hà Đông Market. VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
Located in the busiest part of Hà Đông District on the western outskirts of Hà Nội, the market offers all kinds of goods, from food to clothes, and home utensils.
The people here have been on their stalls for years.
A special part of the market offers bamboo utensils that many young people would find hard to define.
Not every object is familiar. VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
“I have been selling bamboo utensils here since the 1990s," Vũ Đức Minh told Việt Nam News. “My main customers used to be farmers. Now surrounding villages have become urban streets, locals here no longer farm for a living. Now I sell my utensils to restaurants and tourism sites for decoration.”
Minh said sometimes old people bring their grandchildren to show them utensils that were commonly used in the past, but plastic ones had gradually replaced them.
Many bamboo goods have been replaced by plastic ones. But stalls offering bamboo and rattan tools still maintain at the market. VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
“I want to maintain the shop as I respect what belongs to the past and hardworking farmers,” he said.
“And more importantly, these bamboo utensils still have their new role in modern society,” he said.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Dung, a frequent market-goer, said she had lived in the area for nearly five years.
“I find everything I need here from seafood to rattan products,” she said. “The trouble is that the market is not well-organised..”
Rattan goods still have their places in modern life. VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
Lại Văn Định, another customer, said he found things much cheaper than markets near his house.
“There are some rattan products that I just don't recognise, so I ask the owners for a bit of the history,” he said.
People can also find bonsai trees, pet fish and birds.
Pet birds at the market. VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
“I sell smaller plants now,” Nguyễn Thị Hiền, a bonsai shop owner, said. “People need smaller plants for their homes and offices.” VNS