Kermis - beauty of the highlands

Saturday, 21/01/2023 16:12
(CPV) - Traditional markets, or kermis, are a cultural feature that has existed for a long time in all regions in Vietnam. In particular, kermis is said to be the convergence of the cultural quintessence of the ethnic minorities in the highlands. Kermis was born when people produced an excess of wealth and wanted to exchange earned wealth for things necessary for daily living and storage.
Kermis is the place where preserve many unique cultural beauties of the indigenous people. 

At first, it was a small group of a few people, then up to dozens, hundreds of people. They made an appointment at a certain time and place to buy, sell, and exchange, gradually forming a kermis.

The difference between kermis and normal market is that kermis only opens on special fixed days. Some markets open on every Saturday and Sunday. The others open on every Thursday or Friday. Some open on the odd or even days of the lunar month. When urbanization develops, convenience stores and supermarkets are gradually replacing the traditional markets, kermis in the northern mountainous areas in Vietnam still exist as it was in its prime, bustling with sellers and buyers. Visitors to the kermis will experience a cultural space full of community – a rare highland beauty.

Kermis is specific cultural beauty and is also a place that preserves many unique cultural beauties of the indigenous people. It is not only a place to exchange goods, but also a place to meet each other and enjoy cultural activities of people in the area.  People the market are of all ages, from old to young, especially many young people. Mothers and wives go to the market to shop. Husbands go to the market to exchange, drink, eat and play musical instruments. Children follow their parents to the market, young people go to the market to exchange and find a mate, creating a joyful and colourful scence.

To go to the market, people have to get up when it is still dark. They go to the market with simple luggage, which is a bag containing a few pounds of rice, bunches of vegetables or bunches of bananas; a small sack containing a few shovels, knives, sickles, shovels, kitchen utensils, or they take a few cows, horses, pigs, chickens, swans. These simple goods are sold at tarpaulins which spread out in the middle of the land or at small shacks made of bamboo. Despite the simplity, all kinds of strange and delicious foods from the mountains and forests are available.

Pure faces with traditional costumes 

It is said that the fair is a unique cultural beauty with characteristics of the highland people because the highlanders come to the market not only to bring goods but also to bring their own beauty and characteristics to add color to the market. Visitors will have an opportunity to see ethnic people in their traditional costumes. Many colorful brocade items such as hand-made skirts and dresses are on sale.

Today's kermis is not only a place to exchange local hand-made products but also contributes to preserving and promoting cultural values and good traditions of the community of ethnic groups. It is an attractive destination for those who love highland culture. It has become a beauty representing the mountainous land in the middle of the sky./.

BTA (Translated according to NDO)