On my visit to the Leiden Market, I witnessed a scene where the fish sellers were singing in unison with each other. There was a man and woman selling and singing, while scraping herrings. But in my home country, Ghana, the fishermen sing when pulling the nets of fishes out of the water whilst the women await and take the fish away to sell at market like the Elmina fish market. The women are the one that sell and the atmosphere is mostly of chaos.
The fish at the Leiden fish market are stored on ice in an orderly way. The day for selling is Saturdays, which is not a working day for almost everybody in Leiden. Where as in Ghana, fish is either preserved by drying, salting or smoking. Putting it on ice is a new method and part of post independence lifestyle. When you need fresh fish, the only way is to get from the shore. The market days are restricted to Saturdays and it could be any other day because fishing is not done on specific sacred days such as the Tuesdays. The day I visited the Elmina fish market was on Friday and the information I gathered was that the women come from neighbouring towns to buy directly form the fishermen. In my observation fish selling is women's job.
The fascinating aspect of the fish market in Leiden is that the fish is fried and served hot to people passing by to taste and eat. This is done as a form of marketing strategy because if one sees people eating at a particular joint, one could presume that it is better served there than at another joints in the market. One can go to the Leiden market just to taste and socialise because it is the day all classes of people come out to buy.
Credits / copyrights
Camera : Ra Acharya
Note: Fidelia Ametewee