Filed Under (Beninese culture, Ethnomusicology, General) by Rob on 12-06-2008

but maybe not quite like this one:


This is Le Marché DantÉ”kpa, which means beside the water … and it is!
It is purportedly the largest covered market in the whole of West Africa. I can vouch for that; every time I go I take a similar route around the market but never quite see the same stalls!

It can be a tad dangerous at Dantɔkpa (remember this post), so take as few valuables as possible and be aware of people around you. Even taking photos can be risky, and sometimes annoys folk. That said, I managed to sneak some with a small camera recently, so here are a few of them:

(Thanks to Joanna McNeil for the loan of said camera.)

Oh, and the mystery meat I recently posted (here) was, in fact RAT! Yes, it’s quite a delicacy here, thought I’ve never tried it! So, that’s DantÉ”kpa – not quite the same as a market back home, but nonetheless a very rich and vibrant place to visit.

Now onto the world market thing…I was transcribing the words of a FÉ”n song used in a local church the other day, and it began like this:

Gleta we gbe fi nyi loooo
Axi jije we ayihon eee le nyi
O mi die ma ka le tuwun
O hwenu e we ga naxo do

Have a listen and follow along:

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Nice, eh? I love all her inflections and folky rubato. Here’s what it means: Life down here is like a field (looooo), the world is like a market which comes to life too. And so, we do not know at what moment the hour will chime.

It’s basically a statement on human mortality and that, as life begins, so it ends and we must be ready for when we meet our maker.
Bit different from Kendrick, don’t you think?!?

2 Comments posted on "The world is like a market…"
Hugo van Tilborg on June 12th, 2008 at 9:18 pm #

I know a good ‘rat’ restaurant in front of the hall des arts if you ever decide to give it a go 🙂

paul merrill on June 15th, 2008 at 1:01 am #

You have experienced the richness of living in a culture that’s not your own.

Keep enjoying that.