LONG CHERISHED AND THRIVING
Inhabitants of Myanmar’s rural areas
cherished the concept of collective selling. People living
in scattered farm houses and small villages got around to meet
at a certain place where they could sell their products and
buy what they wanted from others. People from the surrounding
areas managed to get together regardless of unfavorable weather
or rugged terrain for their intended activities. Keeping company
with each other in difficult situation was preferable. And
so the practice of collective selling emerged since then. Myanmar
nationals of all ethnic groups were accustomed to this practice.
With the population growth and production
development, people found better ways to solve the problem
of simple trade. People produced food and other commodities
according to their traditions and individual skills. Their
products had to be sold to whoever wants them. In return they
bought needy things available in the market.
Buyers and sellers in harmony
days it was not necessary to open markets every day and everywhere.
So, the local chiefs designated market-places and market days
for them. Each market place had one market day. These markets
were commonly known as one market in five days’ or a bazaar
day held once every five days, a system local people never
complained. This system remains in force to date. Going to
a market place once in every five days is a normal practice.
People gathered around to sell their products and to buy something
they need. As the locals enjoy coming to the market place on
a market day the roving marketers benefit from this
practice. They used to bring along products from other places
and sell them at the market. In return the roving marketers
buy local products to sell at other markets.
from distant locality used to arrive the night before the
market-day. As the number of over night sellers grow, some
food and drink shops also emerge. Then old friends and strangers
started to get acquainted . Soon after the dawn breaks on
the following day nearby people start to arrive and prepare for the
market day activities.
Buyers and sellers in harmony
fruits and vegetables of different variety and forms along
with some preserved food stuff, such as ham, sour-pork, sour-beef
etc, are put on sale by the local inhabitants. People from
more developed places bring in hard wares, house hold utilities,
clothes, ready made clothes, fancy goods, medicines etc. Although
products made available by the local people remain unchanged
the roving marketers’ merchandise varies from time to time,
introducing new commodities to the people of rural areas.
market day in five-days entices local producers and roving
marketers to do business in an easily manageable fashion. Thus
this traditional market becomes famous in each region because
it is practicable and beneficial to all interested individuals.
Unquestionably this resembles an elementary Trade Fair style.
And it is thriving.
goes on with the growth of population, more towns and larger
villages develop. People in those towns and villages create
regular daily markets. Since these markets sellers and buyers
are generally own town’s people or own villagers, merchandise
available for sale would be of local and foreign made, to satisfy
the needs of would be buyers. This daily market system becomes
common and convenient to the public. For such a market to grow
bigger depends on its local populace and more importantly,
their economic situation.
new market styles develop, old fashioned one market in five
days remains. This particular form of market is the pride of
the region because of its pleasurable and productive potential.
‘One market in five days’ tradition is being observed widely
in Shan and Kayah State and partly in Kachin State and Mandalay
Division .These markets are attractions to visitors in search
for native life and souvenirs. Visitors enjoy watching local
men and women in their colourful costumes as they roam about in the
Market day in action
to this tradition, there is another form of trade fair peculiar
to our own nation. Needless to say that Buddhist religion
is predominant inMyanmar, certainly Buddhism has great influence
on daily life of our people. Fullmoon day of each month of
Myanmar calendar has its own festive occasion which is of some
what related to religious affair. Myanmars also love festivals
and entertainment. And each month has a festival of some sort. In
fact festivals form Myanmar social and religious activities. Myanmar
has many famous pagodas in all parts of the country. It is our
custom that pagoda festivals are held for each particular pagoda
all over the country.
festival time coincides with full moon days. Festivals
are full of pageantry and ceremonial splendour. The festivals
used to last 7-10 days or may stretch up to a month. Besides
participating in religious activities people from nearby and
far away places come round to enjoy the festival. Food stalls, shops
with various consumer good, and commodities plus the products of
local specialties inlarger quantities, movie shows and dramas
all these complement the splendor of a festival.
Market day in action
festivals local people put on sale their premium products
of all sorts, buyers generally intend to purchase at this
fair considering the quality and the price.Just about everyone who visits
such festival enjoys spending money and taking back a souvenir
of some sort. So the festival becomes virtually a trade fair
of a particular place. It is a sentiment we all share and make
efforts to take part in the festival one way or another.
local people wait for these festivals to sell their various
products or to buy things they need at these fairs. And sentimentally,
they used to recall what they did or what happened to them
during certain festival time.
have sentimental attachment to the festivals. People engaged
in trade usually made gains at these festivals. Thus, form
of festival rover merchants emerged. The whole year round
they wander from one festival to another buying and selling
all they could to contribute their economic well-being. No
matter what changes in trade pop up, this tradition of trade
fair ancient Myanmar style will remain undisturbed.
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