As I mentioned in my introductory post, the Sydney Markets are made up of various distinct markets; I chose to visit the Produce Market to observe the linguistic landscape.
The Markets are located in Flemington, a locality within the suburb of Homebush West, which is a part of Strathfield Council.
Imagine 1: the area marked in red is the suburbs of Homebush West
The Markets even have their own postcode, 2129, but the most interesting linguistic information is found by analysing the council statistics as a whole. Based on the 2011 census, the ABS shows 50% of the Council’s residents were born in a country where English was not their first language, which is compared to around 30% of the wider Sydney Metropolitan Region. It thus follows that 61% of residents speak a language other than English at home – the top 5 languages were Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin, Arabic, and Tamil. This is compared to 32% across greater Sydney. 18.3% of residents speak only English at home.
This information paints quite a diverse picture of the Flemington locality and gives an insight into the linguistic landscape I did encounter at the markets.
However, this data must be taken with a grain of salt if taking it to be representative of the demographics of those who engage with the market – as I will elaborate in later posts, the sheer size of the markets allures many customers and traders from across the city so the linguistic data is not narrowed to what is found within Council boundaries. The make-up of people and their languages extends far beyond that.
Shivika Gupta, z5019905