The Newsletter 96 Autumn 2023

What I Learned at the Saturday Market in Leiden

Orraya Chawnan

The setting of the Saturday Market is a completely different image from the other local shops during the weekdays. It opens twice a week - a small one on Wednesdays, and the main one on Saturdays from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. It is full of local or foreign products and foodstands (e.g Mabroek). The nature of the market makes it common to visitors, making the experience worthwhile. People come to shop but also to relax and enjoy their Saturdays with family and friends.

During our walk in the market street, we met this old couple who were sitting and enjoying their food. Their names were Harry and Suze, and both were over the age of 65. They left their house for the markets to spend their Saturday in a fun way. Here, in the lively street, the couple eats “herring”, a Dutch specialty, a fish from the North Sea, listening to music from the music box, and enjoying the scenery. So, for me their experience revealed that the purpose of the market is not only about selling and buying things but it turns a space into a communal and interactive place where people joyfully spend their Saturdays.


Orraya Chawnan, Chiang Mai University, Thailand