Viewpoint: Rediscover your identity at the Camden Market

Viewpoint: Rediscover your identity at the Camden Market


Sakshi Ojha

Let’s be honest. How many of us have been to a crowded bazaar, muttering why it has to be so packed and deciding never to go back? And yet, somehow, almost reverentially, ending up there again the next time? I believe it is because there is something oddly satisfying about marching your way through the beckoning vendors selling their wares and the hordes of shoppers thronging these stalls.

That is definitely my reason for revisiting what a friend described as the “world-class Camden Town market” in North London. She always gushes about different cuisines on offer at the market and the stalls selling stuff from different parts of the world.

The Camden Market is not just a single street of shops. It is, rather, a group of markets, each with its own distinctive offering. The Camden Stables Market is one you’d go to for vintage stuff whereas the Camden Lock Market offers you the best in art and crafts, and the Inverness Street will have stalls selling souvenirs and gifts.

You only need to visit the Camden Market once, to realise that the varied music beats you hear, the aromas of different cuisines, even the myriad artistic items on sale, all represent the cultural expressions of a diverse group of people.

At the marketplace, your identity is not determined by the colour of your skin or hair (unless it is pink!), but by your love for antiques, your preference for Thai curry and your affinity to Jazz.

Everyone is allowed to be who they are, but more importantly, are accepted as such. I have never seen anyone getting startled by anyone’s appearance, no matter how bizarre. It’s almost as if the boundaries of ethnicity are transcended to give rise to a certain meta-ethnicity that is bohemian, lively, edgy and chaotic.

I subscribe to that meta-ethnicity. Do you?

Here and Now 365 has always prided itself for promoting multiculturalism and celebrating the ethnic diversity of the UK.


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