Food-Buying Habits in Hanoi

By Jensen, Rolf; Peppard, Donald M., Jr. | SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, October 2007 | Go to article overview

Food-Buying Habits in Hanoi


Jensen, Rolf, Peppard, Donald M., Jr., SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia


Introduction

As the second-fastest growing economy in Asia, with its GDP rising by 8.4 per cent in 2005 (Bradsher 2006), change in Hanoi is constant and readily apparent. Cars are proliferating, motorbikes jam increasingly crowded streets, new buildings rise up even in established neighbourhoods, new urban districts encircle the city, and the government predicts that by 2020, 45 per cent of the population will be urban, up from 26 per cent in 2005 (Webster 2004, p. 14); World Bank 2007). In this paper, we have chosen to focus on a small aspect of the ongoing changes, because we believe it will help understand some of the effects of the development and urbanization processes on rural households in Vietnam.

The changing food-buying habits of Hanoians represent the effects of higher incomes and changing tastes as a result of twenty years of change in the economy. In addition, what these urbanites choose to do in the ways they shop for food affects rural families whose agricultural lives are also changing as a result of the economic changes occurring in Vietnam. The kinds of places from which urbanites choose to buy food may not directly affect the food-growers themselves: city dwellers still need rural people to grow their food for them. Rather, the methods by which the food gets from the farm to the table reflect those other changes going on in Vietnam. The group most likely to be adversely affected by the attitudes of food-buying customers is roving street sellers. Therefore, this article focuses on roving street sellers who are rural people and whose presence in Hanoi has increased in recent years along with the increased difficulty of surviving on agricultural incomes alone.

In previous articles, we have written about the jobs of many of these sellers, who sell from baskets suspended from poles carried on their shoulders as they work in Hanoi (Jensen and Peppard, 2000 and 2003). These published pieces are the result of 379 interviews conducted in 2000, but in the years since then, we and our students have talked with more than 700 other roving street vendors. The overwhelming majority of these sellers, more than 90 per cent of whom are women, do not live in Hanoi: they are temporary migrants of some sort. That is, they retain their rural residences but come to Hanoi either on a daily basis, returning home each night, or as circular migrants who come for days, weeks, or even months at a time before returning to their families. Those who come to Hanoi for extended periods return home for parts of planting and harvest seasons, for ceremonies, and for child rearing and household chores. These sellers have been widely seen in older Hanoi because they are numerous and because they walk many kilometers each day. Because they do not grow the produce that they sell, they rely on wholesale produce markets for their wares. One reason they have to walk so far each day is that there are few wholesale markets, which means that after they buy their goods early in the morning, they often must travel far to the parts of the city in which they usually sell.

As far back as 1998, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) noted in writing about Vietnam that "farm families can rarely survive ... unless they are successful in finding or creating supplementary household or off-farm sources of income (UNDP 1998, p. 27). Roving street vendors come to Hanoi because, as the UNDP noted, the incomes their families earn from farming are inadequate (Jensen and Peppard, 2000 and 2003). The income they earn in the city ranges from US$1 to $2 per day on the days they work, which means that because they do not work every day throughout the year, their average daily earnings are much lower than even those small amounts. However small, that income is essential to their families' survival and to their ability to retain their rural residences. (See also Nguyen 2005 and Djamba, Goldstein, and Goldstein, 1999.)

We have studied and written about the close ties to rural life and the "business" practices of these street vendors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Food-Buying Habits in Hanoi
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.