Vietnamese markets have been established for thousands of years and have become a crucial part of the local culture. To understand the richness of this culture, the World Language classes VAL2 and VAL4 from HAIS organised an outing to the Hoi An Market, as a part of their studies on ‘Famous Markets Across the 3 Regions of Vietnam’.
The Hoi An Market is a special destination for foreigners, tourists and Vietnamese nationals. It is considered an ‘everyday supermarket’ for locals and is where you might find famous chefs of Hoi An sourcing fresh ingredients.
Purposes of the Excursions
- Observe on how Vietnamese market works
- Practice basic by buying, bargaining for food and fruits in Vietnamese
- Experience and eating food in Hoi An Market
How did it goes?
During the class outing, although all of the students speak at least two languages, we used only Vietnamese to communicate.
The very first activity of the outing was an observation. The students looked at how people in the market work and had time to ask questions. They were surprised by how many items could be displayed at the market, with products ranging from fruits and vegetables to fresh fish, prawns and traditional street food. The students also learned that fresh fruits are sold at very cheap prices in the wet market, something unique to Vietnam.
After the initial observation, the students were given some pocket money and under supervision, they budgeted and bought some vegetables such as tomatoes, chillies and eggs. They were very confident when speaking, and they even bargained with the locals at the market:
– Cô ơi, bao nhiêu tiền một trái roi? (Hello miss, how much is one water apple?) Page asked with a wide smile.
– 4 ngàn đồng con ơi (Four thousand dong, kid) replied the stallholder.
– Cho con mua 3 quả 10 ngàn được không?
(Could I buy 3 for 10 thousand?) asked Page.
The students learned how to close off a good deal in the market (although Vietnamese people usually ask for a price and buy in 100 grams of fruit, not one unit!).
To finish the trip, we enjoyed a traditional Vietnamese meal. The market always has a diverse range of food on offer. We chose to eat Cao Lau, Mi Quang and Banh Cuon. The students enjoyed the flavours and expressed interest in making them at home. They also enjoyed delicious tropical smoothies made from mango, strawberry, guava and tomato.
Thanks to this little journey, we have given our students a deeper insight into the local market culture. The students had a chance to interact with the vendors and equip themselves with essential Hoi An life skills using good communication, problem-solving and decision-making.
Ms Chau and I truly enjoyed watching the students experience a vital part of Vietnamese culture. The Hoi An Market was certainly a highlight of the term.
Ms Van Huynh
VAL4 World Language Teacher