Significant role of Vietnamese ao dai honoured in online exhibition

The charming beauty of the Vietnamese ao dai (traditional long dress) has been honoured in an ongoing online exhibition.
Significant role of Vietnamese ao dai honoured in online exhibition ảnh 1World leaders, in Vietnamese traditional dress, pose for a group photo at the APEC Summit in Hanoi in 2006. (Photo: VNA)
Thua Thien – Hue (VNS/VNA) - The charming beauty of the Vietnamese ao dai (traditional long dress) has been honoured in an ongoing online exhibition.

Initiated by Thua Thien – Hue province’s culture authority, the event is to promote the role of the traditional dress in Vietnamese culture and history, solidifying the “national copyright” of the dress.

“Our purpose is to spread the love to the traditional dress of every Vietnamese person, encouraging them, men and women, to wear it as much as possible. Once the wearing of ao dai in all aspects becomes popular, we can build up a unique cultural image, therefore we can continue to design relevant tourism products and services,” the director of the provincial culture department, Phan Thanh Hai, told Viet Nam News.

The exhibition started with a short clip entitled Hue – Chiec Noi Ao dai Vietnam (Hue – The Cradle of Vietnamese Traditional Dress) featuring valuable images about the dress. It presents an image of President Ho Chi Minh, in his ao dai, to welcome the Lunar New Year’s Eve together with local people at Hanoi’s Ngoc Son Temple in 1946 – the first celebration after Vietnam declared independence to become the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on September 2, 1945.

The image of Nguyen Dynasty’s King Ming Mang (1791-1841), who issued a decree, asking every subject of Dai Nam (Great Viet, former name of the current Vietnam) to wear long dress, has been featured in the clip.

Images of other emperors of the Nguyen Dynasty such as Ham Nghi (1871-1944) and Thanh Thai (1879-1954), in their ao dai, can also be seen in the clip.

The dress has been introduced to international friends through the country’s leaders and diplomats.

Viewers can see a group photo of President Nguyen Minh Triet and other world leaders, in the brocade Vietnamese ao dai, at the APEC Summit in Hanoi in 2006, or the one depicting Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau presenting his credentials to King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. 

In addition, the clip also introduces several other images of ordinary people wearing long dress in their daily activities such as in gold workshops or at the market.

The popularity of traditional long dress in modern cultural, tourism and educational events also has been introduced in the clip.

According to director Hai, the idea for the exhibition started more than a year ago.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak in Vietnam at the beginning of last year, we decided that the online concept is safe and suitable in the context of the pandemic,” he told Viet Nam News.

To prepare for the exhibition, the department has called on people and organisations to contribute photos of long dress from their private collections.

So far, thousands of unique photos have been sent to the department.

“The number will increase as we continue to receive photos from individuals and organisations in Vietnam and abroad,” Hai said.

The exhibition also uses a large number of photos that the department collected earlier for their book Hue – The Cradle of Vietnamese Traditional Dress which was published last October.

After the debut clip, from now until the end of this year, the exhibition will continue to present 14 clips on specific topics such as Ao dai Trong Dong Chay Van Hoa, Lich Su (Traditional Dress in the Flow of Culture and History), Y Phuc Hoang Cung (Royal Costumes), Tu Truyen Thong Den Quoc Phuc (From Traditional Dress to National Dress), and Nghe May Theu Ao dai tai Hue (The Long Dress Making Craft in Hue).

The exhibition is available on the website of the provincial culture department as well as on other popular social network platforms such as Youtube, Facebook, Zalo, Tiktok, and Instagram./.

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