Sunday, August 24, 2008

City of People: Women Entrepreneur and Gasibu Sunday Market


Text and picture by Eki Qushay Akhwan

I don't know exactly how and when it began, but every Sunday morning the Gasibu Square (a large open space/field in front of Gedung Sate, West Java Governor's Office Mansion in Bandung) turned into a market place.

As far as I can remember it, people used to come here only to exercise on Sunday morning. I guess that's how the Sunday market began. When vendors and people with entrepreneurial spirit noticed that a large number of people flocked here every Sunday morning, the saw a potentially lucrative business opportunity and began to open their beverage and light food stalls for those Sunday "sporters". What began small eventually attracted like-minded others. Now vendors at the Gasibu Sunday market do not only offer beverages and food but also a lot of other stuff: clothes, watches, sunglasses, fruit and vegetables, household wares, handicrafts, and even arts and pets. It's like a Supermarket (with large S) that only happens once a week. Gone are the leisurely joggers and walkers who used to come here to exercise. There is simply not enough space left now on Sunday for people who come here to exercise because all the lots are now occupied by vendors of different kinds. But many people with sports attires still love coming here on Sunday, not to exercise but to stroll and enjoy the interesting sights, sounds, and smells of what locals call "Pasar Kaget" or surprise market.

The market usually ends just before mid-day. The lady entrepreneur you see at the photo was biking home with her stuff after Sunday market was closed.

You could see more photos of Gasibu Sunday market here.

The word Gasibu is probably derived from the word gasebo and indicates what this place used to be in the old days.


Laurie said...

Here's another fantastic street shot, Eki. You really know how to capture the spirit and life of your city.

I love the idea of a surprise market -- though I'm sure the people trying to do Tai Chi or calesthinics are disappointed to lose their space!

Rambling Woods said...

Interesting Eki..In english the word gazebo is used for a structure. Maybe it has the same origins. Wonderful photo and story as usual..

uncleawang said...

Wonderful photo...fantastic.