English is not my mother tongue! I don’t feel what could be behind the word “hawker”, or between the lines, except its meaning “a person who travels around selling goods, typically advertising them by shouting”. If we use Google translate “gánh hàng rong” means funnily “burden vendors”! But , meaningfully, burden, a heavy load! It’s heavy not only because of the physical goods, but it’s heavy because they carry the whole family on their shoulders. Gánh hàng rong in Vietnamese has been often associated with uneasy destiny, especially, woman or mother’s destiny. Even the goods they carries probably not a heavy load, but to live a hard life, to support family, children is a burden that they must overcome.
Along with the image of woman living a hard life for family, gánh hàng rong still associated with the tradition which could be faded away in the future.
These images do looks nice to me, as it is a part of my childhood, moreover, of every Vietnamese’ childhood. They made a huge part of the street food culture. Hopefully, the gov will have proper policies to maintain it rather than forcing them to desist from creating attracting this cultural street feature.