Community, Trust and Belonging: Reflections from a Periodic Market in Assam

By Pratisha Borborah

This study describes how the concept of trust is built within the market space. The bazaar, also known as haat belong to members of the Karbi community who live in an urban village of Guwahati. I had begun my study on the functioning of the market with an unstated assumption that it would be primarily about the buying and selling of commodities every week. What I found was that without the unstated presence of ‘trust’ and ‘belongingness’ which binds the different stakeholders, the market would not function. The periodic market functions every week with this trust and belonginess that is the glue that ties community members on the basis of ethnicity. This paper draws upon what one observed and what one gleaned through their narratives. It looks at how the question of trust comes with a certain ‘social capital’ that helps them to be a part of an active member of the market.

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