Over 500 Years Old, This Manipuri Market Is Run Solely By Womenby The Daily Eye Team January 24 2017, 2:14 pm Estimated Reading Time: 0 mins, 52 secs
Their crinkled faces sport sandalwood paste and their cheeks constantly churn the deep purple of betel nut as they chirp away with their fellow shopkeepers. These are the faces of Imphal’s largest market, which hosts thousands of Manipuri grannies perched in front of their stalls. The never-ending rows of tables boast a bevy of wriggling eels, pyramids of fruits and veggies, blouses swaying with the breeze and towers of trinkets. Welcome to Ima Market, Manipur’s all-women-run market. Ima is the Manipuri word for grandma, and the market is quite literally theirs. Many newcomers are happily in awe with the novelty of having an entire market run exclusively by women, however it’s no big deal for the Imas, they’ve been doing this for centuries. First timers learn this pretty quick as the biggest prize the market has to offer is winning a bargain over these rickety grannies. Don’t be fooled by their small physique, these grannies are tough cookies.