Kerala

Old barter market come under weather, COVID wave

Three days of late-afternoon rain played havoc with the traditional Chendamangalam barter market that still holds a great fascination for the people in Paravur and its neighbouring areas despite money ruling the transactions.

“People came in large numbers to the market despite the bad weather and slushy grounds,” says Sashankan, who sells a variety of products ranging from steel knives to earthen pots and pans. But the bad weather dampened spirits quite a bit, says Rajee Pradeep, who sells home-made pickles, peanut butter, honey and bangles, and items of personal decoration. She found the sales go slow after heavy downpour forced people to hurry back home.

The organisers of the fair then decided to call it off by late afternoon on Tuesday.

The market fair is organised under the aegis of the Chendamangalam grama panchayat.

A range of products

The Chendamangalam barter market is a throwback to history when people did not depend on cash to make exchanges and valuable transactions. A whole range of products from bamboo and coconut shell ladles and spoons to home-made bangles, earthenwares, dry fish, exotic orchids, and flowering plants, bamboo mats, and steel knives and locally popular mango varieties were seen in the market on Tuesday morning.

This year’s market showed the great love people had for the old tradition, Mr. Sashankan says. Despite the weather conditions, they tried to make their presence felt, he adds.

Paulose Joseph, who sells tea, coffee and soft drinks at the venue, felt the 2020 fair was washed out because of COVID-19 restrictions. It was expected that the 2021 festival will revive the event’s fortunes. However, the situation just about showed promise of a comeback when weather and fear of a new COVID-19 wave toppled this year’s plans.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 10:30:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/old-barter-market-come-under-weather-covid-wave/article34311686.ece

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