When I first read the description of Island East Markets on their Facebook page, I immediately knew they are some smart people doing a cool thing, which is something that I have been searching for for a while now and really want to share with people who are living in Hong Kong- which after all has been dubbed with the grand title of – Asia’s World City. However, does it really deserve this title? While I am tempted to toot our own horn and blurt out “Sure…definitely!” but on second thought, I have to concede “Not…not really!”
So why is that?
If you are a person who likes travelling and wandering around the world as me, you must have found that every top city has markets somewhere in the corner of the main districts so that when all the LED lights of the city’s commercial buildings have been turned off, the holiday mood gets turned on as the moon comes out.
So where should you go on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the Christmas season? If you are living in any country in Europe, sure, I know there are plenty of lovely Christmas markets in just about every city in nooks and squares for you to explore at leisure and enjoy a lovely time and holiday mood in. But, how about Hong Kong? Is all we really need just shopping in giant grand shopping malls to let the Christmas decorations and “BIG SALE” “50% OFF” promotion banners tempt, or I should say, seduce us to spend some money we have earned during the past one year just to get into a bit of holiday mood? Not really!
What a pity! A voice inside every person living in Hong Kong says – “This city is dying, this city is dying.” However, what is more unfortunate is that really not many people pause to think deeper about it even when they know, but instead, many of them pay lip service to the proverbial rhetoric – change. Change what? A typical answer might go “Well, I don’t really know, we just need a “predictable” “peaceful” and “progressively-unchanged” revolution, nothing else” – the very definition of dying!
Markets for me, are the rhythmic breathing of a city, a breath of fresh air which also represents the soul of the city. And what does “soul” mean for me here?- Local; Handmade; Production; bright People; Culture; Exchanging; Recycling; Spirit; Creativity.
I’m lucky; my place is near TaiKoo Place where the Island East Markets is, but I didn’t even know it was there until I saw its introduction in a magazine and then went there for its first ever Christmas market. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon and I found the peace of mind I was looking for, for sure.
“Island East Markets is set up by the Hong Kong Markets Organization. We’re committed to promoting the best of Hong Kong, be it fresh produce grown by Hong Kong’s top organic farmers, handcrafted goods made by local artisans, or the best local bands.”
“We have Hong Kong’s best farmers bringing in their produce straight to the Markets. Don’t know what to do with a purple carrot? Want to know all about local corn? Chat with the farmers, join in on our cooking demos and talks by the SAR’s foremost eco-warriors, and bring your kids – because we’ve got something new every week for them too.”
“We’ve handpicked some of Hong Kong’s best organic farmers, and with the help of the Federation of Vegetable Marketing Co-operative Societies (FVMCS), the main channel of communication between the HKSAR Government and local farmers, constant sampling will take place to ensure the quality and integrity of the produce sold, so you can have peace of mind.”
Fortunately, they hold regular markets every Sunday from 27th January this year. Especially with Chinese new year just around the corner, so they will be holding a Chinese New Year theme Sunday market on 3rd February called the “LION DANCE PERFORMANCE”. Let’s go celebrate Chinese New Year at Island East Markets. I think it is a great place to visit as a warm up to our big Chinese festival; and to get some green in this red China season.
“Island East Markets. Know how to live.”
I’ll see you there : )