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Wet markets opened my eyes to Hong Kong’s culture

I’ve grown up in Canada and, despite being Asian-Canadian, had never stepped foot in Asia until this summer when I visited Hong Kong.The trip opened my eyes and drew me deeper into Chinese culture. I particularly appreciated learning about wet markets, an integral part of Asian culture.To get more wetmarket, you can visit shine news official website.

Wet markets are open food markets where merchants sell fresh food and necessities for residents. They are an elite version of North America’s farmers’ markets.The name “wet market” stems from their wet floors: Caretakers routinely spray them with water to keep them clean.

Hong Kong has numerous wet markets, and they exist throughout Asia, including in Singapore and Thailand.Hong Kong’s elderly place great importance on wet markets, which bind their communities and families, and are culturally significant.

Lian Huan, a Graham Street Market vendor, is a prime example of someone who contributes and connects to her community through the market.

At age 60, she displays the same passion for selling fresh vegetables at her stall as she did when it was passed down to her from a friend who retired.

Each morning at 4 a.m., Huan commutes about an hour from Hong Kong Island — where Graham Street Market is located — to Kowloon island to pick the freshest produce.

“Wet markets are unique because they are a symbol of nostalgia,” she said. “They are just like antiques. People want to keep them as a reminder of history.”

Graham Street Market is one of 98 markets managed by Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD). Authorities such as the Real Estate Investment Trust and Housing Authority manage others. Some operate without oversight.While many North Americans make weekly grocery trips to a superstore, in Hong Kong many people go every day to a wet market.

A 2016 study by Hungry Cities looked at food purchasing trends in Nanjing, a city in mainland China. Both wet markets and supermarkets are dominant food sources for households, the study showed, but shoppers visit wet markets more regularly.

About three out of every four households visited wet markets five days a week. By comparison, only 17% went to supermarkets with that regularity. Rather, 64% of supermarket shoppers tended to visit the stores once a week.

A 2013 study by the Hong Kong Consumer Council showed that supermarkets have a dominant presence in the territory, with 673 supermarket chain and mid-sized grocery stores, compared to 197 wet markets.

But the study noted that wet markets continue to play an important role as an outlet for fresh produce. Some Hong Kongers visit them once or twice a day in the morning or afternoon, to purchase fresh ingredients for dinner.

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