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People’s Food Market (in the North)


In this issue, the general affairs and accounting manager in the Sri Lanka office introduces the market that supports daily life in the North.

Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu

Considering the accessibility to the project sites in the Northern Province, Kilinochchi District and Mullaitivu District, JEN Sri Lanka established its office in the center of Kilinochchi. Kilinochchi is a city with a population of about 110,000 but there are only three supermarkets, so called modern supermarkets (1 privately-owned, 1 government-owned and 1 semi-government-owned).

Most residents shop for groceries at the market in the center of the town.

A market is usually a semi-outdoor establishment divided into small sections, and the building is divided according to the sale items, such as vegetables, fruits, fish and chicken. The market is managed by the office called Pradeshiya Sabha. Sellers pay venue rental tax and the sales tax. The Pradeshiya Sabha manages the market by these taxes.

There are no four seasons in Sri Lanka and the kinds of vegetables in the market have no big change throughout the year. Vegetables, which are called “summer vegetables” in Japan, such as eggplant, tomato, bitter gourd, green bean and pumpkin, are being sold in the vegetable market.

【Vegetable market】

You can buy small quantities of vegetables because they are selling by weight, however, it is easier to beat the price if you buy in bulk because of the asking price. 

Due to the undeveloped distribution system in the North, it is easier to get fresh foods at the market, which purchases vegetables directly from the local farms, than at the supermarkets. As expats, we also get our groceries at the market, negotiating prices using gestures.

【In the fish market, the catch and kinds of fish are different each day, but lineups are rich, ranging from blue fish to soft-shell crab】

As a traveler, it is almost impossible to interact with local people in the market. However, for expats who visit the market, it is an important opportunity to understand the local lifestyle, custom and culture.

【Here is the fruits market selling bananas, mangoes, pineapples and jack fruits】

【JEN is now asking for donations. Click here to donate】

May 25, 2017 in Sri Lanka |