Since Father Clarke brought the idea of car boot sales to these shores from Canada way back in the 1970s the movement has spread not only over the whole of Great Britain and Ireland but far beyond. Whether the spread has been from this country or whether the idea was already catching on in other countries at the same time as it came here is unclear. It probably doesn't matter anyway the important thing is that it has happened!
What we call car boot sales go under various different names in different countries and the format varies a bit too. However the basic principle applies everywhere. People bring stuff they no longer want to sell to others who do want it and hopefully make some profit after taking into account their expenses for the day. It may be a yard sale in the USA or a Trash 'n' Treasure down under in Oz but the objective is the same.
We know that car boots are held in Thailand and there they call them just that. Evidence that they were started by British Ex-Pats in the first place no doubt! You'll find similar sales thriving in Malaysia, Singapore and Borneo too all under the same familiar name, presumably for the same reason.
Apparently regular Sunday boot sales take place in Gaza City though what they are called in Arabic I haven't been able to discover. Somebody out there will perhaps enlighten us all! Car boot sales in various guises really have become a sort of benign worldwide pandemic since the 70s fanning out from Europe and North America to cover most of Asia and the Middle East. Of course in many of those parts of the world the long standing culture of bargaining and haggling in markets would have provided even more fertile soil for the seeds of car booting to flourish than our more restrained northern and western societies.
If you make the journey to Japan, funded by your car booting profits of course, you'll find the fascinating sight of religious shrines being used as sites for the Japanese version of car boot sales. "Shrine Sales" are extremely popular all over Japan. Everywhere you go you find shrines to the numerous Shinto gods. Shrines usually have an area of land around them and those are the sites used for shrine sales. It may seem strange to us who grew up in the Judeo-Christian culture of Western Europe, but then many of our ways no doubt seem bizarre to the Japanese!
The idea of holding markets at the sites of Shinto shrines seems quite appropriate when you realise that Shinto has, among its many gods, seven "Lucky Gods", one of whom, Daikoku, is the God of Wealth and Retail Shops. It's these differences in culture and customs that make our world such a diverse and fascinating place along with the mix of differences and similarities that make its people so interesting.
That's just a glimpse of the international nature of car booting. There must be people out there who know far more about the activity in countries I've not even mentioned. Why not tell the rest of us all about them?
This article was supplied by the Dorset copywriter, Pete Hopper at Write 4 You.