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Woman selling noodles at outdoor market in Hanoi

A woman sits at a stall selling piles of noodles from three large trays displayed at an outdoor market in Hanoi. The front pile is brown, the middle one is white, and the rear one is orange. The vendor wears a yellow-striped blouse and her hair is tied back. She is using a knife to slice ingredients. Bowls of brown tubers and orange carrots are visible on her right. Noodle-making is a fine art in Vietnam, where ingredients are taken from a wide variety of vegetables as well as flours made from grains such as rice. Even carrots are painstakingly slivered with a knife to produce "noodles" that will be included in soups or other side dishes served with rice. Other working women will buy these inexpensive, partially prepared foods to add to their daily meals. Noodle making and selling is another type of business that can be started with little capital, depending mainly on individual labor. The freshly made noodles are not refrigerated but are sold inexpensively at the market where customers buy them to add to their family's meals on the day of purchase. Women throughout Southeast Asia regularly work in outdoor markets, both as preparers and sellers of food items. Generally, urban women are raised to be skilled merchants and their public role in small business is routine.

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