Market brings a taste of the continent

Lerwick’s first continental market was in full swing shortly after the stalls were set up under the Fort this morning, with customers browsing through colourful goods from far-flung places.

Market traders from all over the world showed their wares, with organiser Ali Yaich saying it was bringing “something different” to Shetland. Thailand carvings, dream catchers from Mexico, Italian biscuits, Moroccan and Italian leather handbags and Greek and Turkish sweets were all on sale, with customers buying briskly.

Mr Yaich said: “There are 20 nationalities from all over the world here, and more are coming tomorrow. They couldn’t all get on the ferry last night.” Tomorrow’s arrivals will include plants from Holland, Finnish crafts, German food and Kenyan carvings.

Food is a big part of any market, and besides olives and feta cheese this one had a stall selling exotics such as kangaroo and zebra burgers. The smells were enticing and the colours on neighbouring stalls brilliant, with green and orange fudge, Turkish delight in all hues, some coated in pistachio, and nuts coated in honey or chilli. “They’re beautiful, delicious, gorgeous”, said stall-holder Are Rahim, who is Kurdish and based in Manchester.

The Italian stall had nougat cakes in rainbow hues and delightful biscuits, some like tiny crescents, others like mini sausage rolls. Giovanni Zampieri, who is based in London and travels to markets throughout the UK said: “We go travelling to give people a taste of Italy, sometimes we achieve it.”

Giovanni Zampieri on the Italian sweet stall. Photo: Dave Donaldson
Giovanni Zampieri on the Italian sweet stall. Photo: Dave Donaldson

More Italian goods were on offer with leather handbags from £10 up to £80, with a one-off of red snakeskin and red and black feathers selling for £20. North African stall-holder Omar Samy travels to markets all over Scotland, and said: “I’m sure people will like this, it’s good stuff.”

First-time visitor Ravi Singh, who has a shop in Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, was selling colourful fleeces which attracted a lot of attention, as did the Thai stall of Emma Thomson and Sanan Kalawong. The couple live in Thailand and everything on the stall, from cotton bags to incense, is made there. Very special are the buffalo-horn carved items, made by a village family which the couple support.

Ronald Olerte from Peru was showing colourful knitwear, jewellery and music, sourced from North and South America, and, in complete contrast, Tayce Lee was selling the “Amaze” brush for getting bobbles from knitwear.

Customers were clearly enjoying the market, which is in Shetland for a week. North Mainland shopper Ann Cairns said: “It would be great if we could have this all the time, other places have markets on Saturday and Sunday, it wouldn’t need to be continental stuff.” It would be especially good for cruise passengers, she said.

Shopper Damian Ristori said: “It’s a lovely thing to have here, hopefully they’ll do well and come back.”


Add Your Comment
  • fraser cluness

    • June 12th, 2013 10:18

    First? was this guys not up at the tall ships? shame its used up so much town centre parking though.

  • Julie Ritson

    • June 12th, 2013 10:41

    I am totally disgusted that Shetland is allowing this kind of market things made from Buffalo horn snake skin do you know the snake is skinned alive etc do you know the cruelty involved when it comes to making things from animals, of course the poor backward Shetlanders aren’t up to par what’s going on in the rest of the world the cruelty to animals, with China skinning dogs, cats, rabbits etc alive, do you know what they do in Thailand they eat dogs and although it is against the law now they are still doing it dogs are packed into cages as many as 20 dogs to one cage some of them don’t make the journey traveling on the back of a lorry for a week no food or water. Is Shetland joining the cruelty.

  • David Spence

    • June 12th, 2013 12:27

    We eat pigs, which is against the law in someplaces. We also eat mutton (lots more than 20 sheep to a pen in many cases, and hey dont all “make it” either, wear wooly jumpers, have sheepskin rugs, boil lobsters alive etc etc.

    Unless you are a true Vegan you may as well be eating dog meat, as the only difference is your culture.

    Well done to the organisers for promoting the cultural diversity and equality Shetland has been known for for centuries.

  • Sandy McDonald

    • June 12th, 2013 12:49

    Can’t see the issue with buffalo horn, as long as it was going to be eaten anyway. Buffalo meat is rather tasty. If you are going to kill an animal you should use everything from it you can.

    Didn’t see any dog burgers there today.

  • Joe johnson

    • June 12th, 2013 16:10

    Julie, animals eat other animals, birds of prey eat small birds, fish eat other fish, mammals eat other mammals to survive. Its nature, and do they consider their rights? Im in no way condoning animal cruelty But there’s no way I’d stop eating meat and I dont see a problem with the foods going on display in the market.

  • Rachel Buchan

    • June 12th, 2013 21:41

    Wonderful idea! Variety is the spice of life, as they say. I hope something like this happens again.

  • Sarah Carr

    • June 14th, 2013 10:57

    I was more disgusted by the comment:

    “…of course the poor backward Shetlanders aren’t up to par what’s going on in the rest of the world …”

    Get real, it’s not a backward country you’re talking about, this is a cultural sophisticated group of islands. Some areas are remote and some people enjoy a simple way of life, but they are certainly not BACKWARD!

    Sarah, North Yorkshire, visitor to Shetland.

  • David Spence

    • June 14th, 2013 14:05

    It is good that we can sample and buy different foods from other countries. It brings cultural diversity closer to all aspects of our ‘ western lives ‘.

    I wonder if they’ll be selling horse meat disguised as another form of burger? lol May be Tesco’s may buy some more to incorporate this cultural diversity, foodwise, we are experiencing lol

    Mind you though, there is a subtle difference between paying a high price to this of being blatantly ripped-off……….like the Tall Ships Race demonstrated lol

  • Colin McKearney

    • June 14th, 2013 20:20

    I agree with you Sarah Carr , and have posted a reply to this twice , but of course the Shetland times have removed my view , presumably in case it offends madam ritson , but note they have allowed her crass comment to remain.

  • David Spence

    • June 15th, 2013 0:49

    Julie, not wishing to sound sexist, but as yourself being a woman, I take it you are into your makeup, fancy dresses, blouses, skirts etc etc and possibly uptodate with your fashion and fashion accessories?

    One of the largest industries for cruelty to human’s is the fashion and the vanity industries. Many of the makeup products are tested on animals, many of the clothes you may wear are manufactured in sweat shops where child labour is used in many cases. They are, literally, forced by their families, due to poverty (no thanks to the unjust international tradings laws) to work 10,12 or even 16 hours a day for less than 70pence a day…………but as long as the manufacturer’s make over, in some cases, 10,000% profit, why should we care as long as we are spoon fed, brainwashed into getting the latest seasons fashion clothes and accessories.

    I agree that China is probably the world’s worst killer of animals, whether domestic or wild (especially their abuse of animals in the medical industry). We in the west, over the last 20 years or so, have adopted certain medical practices (call it new age therapy and all that crap) purely as a means for certain companies/people to profit hugely from this pseudo far eastern health practices as an excuse to rip-off people big time.

    There should be more done to protect what wild life we have on this planet (considering, literally, 1 species becomes extinct every day due to humans) and find alternative ways of living in harmony with nature instead of destroying it.

    The largest threat to the planet, as is being proven now, is the cruel, wicked, selfish mindset of the capitalist…….where greed and profit take precedence regardless to any destruction of life or the environment.

    As long as we put greed, profit and monetary/material wealth ahead of anything else, we are creating the seeds to our own demise and extinction……….lets hope nature teaches the ‘ selfish gene (humanity) ‘ a lesson .

  • Rachel Buchan

    • June 15th, 2013 14:03

    And of course men aren’t into fashion, skin creams, accessories….even make-up, so I’ve been told….. Only saying lol.

  • David Spence

    • June 15th, 2013 16:33

    Well Rachel, since that awful footballer David B……… paid more attention to his looks rather than that semi-skilled sport called football. Yes, men have been, to a degree, subjected to the same psychological crap the vanity industry perpetrates towards women to brainwash them into buying their products and boost their confidence, allegedly and all the other products that go along with the industry.

    Remember, the vanity and beauty industry do not give a damn about you, all they care about is your money, nothing else.

    This industry (beauty and vanity) is probably the worst form of exploitation of any other industry, and it uses practices which we would object to if such practices were incorporated into our society. Many of the fashion manufacturer’s are guilty of exploitation to the extreme in third world countries so that you, the consumer, can be easily brainwashed into buying ‘ designer goods ‘ because you have been condition to think ‘ I must get this spring, summer’s etc fashion wear ‘, and you subsequently contribute to the atrocities committed in third world countries for the manufacturer’s to maximize their profits.

  • Rachel Buchan

    • June 16th, 2013 19:25

    Well, thankfully, I’ve never really been into all the make-up, lotions and potions, and fancy labelled clothes. I do agree with you though!


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