My second visit to the markets found me focusing on the specific languages spoken and the music playing. Because the signage was all in English, i was very interested to see what different interactions i would come across. I presumed that because the majority of residents come from the Middle East or Asia, that would be heard the most. However, i overheard quite a diverse range of languages being spoken.
As soon as I arrived at the front gates, i heard a family conversing in what i concluded was a type of Indian language. I also came across a stall owned by an Italian couple who were comfortable conversing in their own language but were also able to speak basic English with their customers. As i walked around the markets, i noticed that vendors were very comfortable speaking in their native language with customers that spoke their language.
However, what surprised me the most was when i walked past a veggie stall owned by a Vietnamese man who knew how to speak Arabic. He managed to use a Middle Eastern greeting with a few of his customers and was able to count money in Arabic. I thought this was very clever and concluded that because he was selling vegetables that are predominantly used in Middle Eastern dishes. EG: Lebanese cucumbers, parsley and zucchini, his intention was to establish a connection. In terms of music, i walked past a stall selling Middle Eastern music and so they were playing the music that they were selling in order to attract customers. Other then that, i did not hear any other music playing. I observed the markets for about half an hour and managed to hear Vietnamese, Italian, Arabic, Assyrian and Indian being spoken.
All in all, at the end of my visit, i came to the conclusion that the reason why everyone was so comfortable to speak their native language was because it is such a multicultural space and quite a few vendors were selling things that were related to their culture, EG: food, jewellery and clothing. I also decided that vendors and customers chose to speak their native language because it made them feel more at home and were able to create their own little community.
Yvonne Gahshan Z5015935