The dancing butchers of Dien Market
  • By Nam Hang | | September 19, 2012 09:16 AM

Every afternoon when there is nice weather visitors to the Dien Market, Hanoi, will be treated to aerobics performance by the people who work the stalls.


Dancing butchers

This little tradition was started by Mrs. Phuong, who sells crabs at the market. Phuong said that about five months ago some of the local families got together to sing karaoke. She became intrigued with the song “Nguoi den tu Chieu Trau”. She asked her daughter to download the song so she could bring it to the market to listen to while she worked.

At first she just played the song, but eventually it turned into her own private aerobics class, which she would do around the end of each day. Gradually, the butchers and poultry sellers from surrounding stalls began to join her.

Phuong said that she used to pay VND160,000 each month for an aerobics class, but had to quit because she did not have the time. She said for her, doing the same thing in the market was a great solution.

“The exercises really improve my health. Sitting all day at the stall is very tiring, so we thought, 'Why not do aerobics on as a group right here in the market," she said.

One of the most lively spots to watch is the butchers' area, where they start every day at around 6pm or 7pm.

Mrs. Duong instructed the other butchers of what she learned in her class. And now she stands in front of the group each day to show them how it is done.

The group is usually around 15 members, Duong said, adding that they wear their uniform every Tuesday and Saturday. The rest of the week they wear whatever they normally do.

Mrs. Que, a regular participants said that some other sections of the market have slightly different ways of working out. For example the fish sellers usually hula hoop in the morning, from 6:30am to 7am. The group has invested in a set of loud speakers to keep them moving.

“The market is nearly deserted late afternoon, so it's a good time for us to relax a bit around the stalls," one of the butchers said.

Those who do not get up and actively join usually move to the music in their stalls so as not to lose any sales.


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