5-day market and our ajummas

I and my parents love going to 5-day market. 5-day markets (Oiljang Markets) are held every 5 days usually in the countryside of South Korea. In 5-day market, we can buy regional specialities that hardly found in a supermarket in my town. Especially, I love having local foods that local ajumma sellers cook with ingredients from their own farms.They look plain but the flavours of them are too beautiful for words.

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Dotorimuk (Homemade Achorn Jelly) Ajumma

I can meet so many ajummas in 5-day markets as well. Ajumma sellers bring and sell their harvests in this market to support their children’s education. And ajummas also purchase things they need in this market, too. These 5-day market is similar to the wash place in my PhD research, it is a kind of places where ajummas do social economy activities. Maybe I need to think more about the relationship between a 5-day market and our ajummas. But one thing that I can say is that 5-day market is another women’s place, especially place for ajummas.

Ajummas are waiting for their turn to extract the sesame oil in the mill

Ajumma shoppers at the market

I saw ajumma shoppers at a market today. Saturday market is always crowded with lots of ajumma shoppers. They come to market not only for grocery shopping but also sharing their lives with others at the market through face to face communication with others even if they never met before with each other. Market is one of communal spaces of ajummas like Digital Ppal-let-ter

I love seeing people at the market because I feel alive.


Cute ajummas 🙂


Chestnut season!

아줌마는 강하다

시장에 가면 다양한 사람들의 활기찬 삶의 모습을 볼 수 있습니다. 호주에서도 그리고 서울에 있을때도 주말마다 시장에 가는 일이 일과가 되어버릴 정도로 저는 시장에 가는 걸 좋아합니다. 특히, 아줌마에 대한 연구를 시작하면서 시장에 가면 많은 아줌마들을 만나뵐 수 있다는 이유로 더 자주 가게 되었습니다. 소리소리 지르며 물건을 파는 아줌마, 좀 더 나은 흥정을 위해 목소리를 높이며 실랑이를 벌이는 상인 아줌마와 물건을 사려는 아줌마, 계산기나 주문서 없이도 수많은 사람들의 주문을 받아 척척 잔치국수를 내주는 포장마차 아줌마, 무거운 짐을 양손에 들고도 씩씩하게 걸어가는 아줌마 등등.

지난 수년동안 한국의 역사와 함께하며 아줌마들은 한국의 경제발전에 큰 힘이 되었습니다. 물론 지금도!

억척스럽게 물건을 팔고 또 가족들을 위해 양손가득 장을 보고 한 푼 이라도 아끼기 위해 실랑이를 벌이면서 아줌마들은 그렇게 살아갑니다.

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