Over 200 models representing 54 ethnic groups from around the country will join a fashion show on Nov. 28 at the Vietnam Culture Tourism Village in the town of Son Tay, 35km west of downtown Hanoi.

The show, part of the first Ethnic Costumes Festival that began on Nov. 26, will feature 200 sets of daily and festival costumes.

Composer An Thuyen, chairman of the festival judging panel, was unable to conceal his enthusiasm.

"I'm so happy and lucky to see the first-ever gathering of nearly all ethnic costumes," Thuyen said. "Although I have travelled to many remote villages and composed a lot of music inspired by the lives of ethnic people, I am stunned by and proud of the diversity of cultural colours in Vietnam."

Ly Thi Huyen, from the Dao group in the northern province of Tuyen Quang – one of the youngest models performing in the show – introduced her costume, with coins attached to both sides of the shirt and a silver belt.

"This is a costume made and handed down by my grandmother," Huyen said. "I'm very happy to wear it today to show it off to the audience."

Researcher Hoang Nam from the Hanoi College of Culture, said: "This is a chance for ethnic groups to exchange and understand one another's cultures."

The programme will be broadcast live on Vietnam Television's VTV2 and VTV5 as well as Voice of Vietnam radio VOV4 channel.

The Vietnam Culture Tourism Village has been open for over a year with a mission to preserve and expose the traditional cultural heritage of the nation's ethnic groups. The village offers tourist accommodation, entertainment and a site for culture and sporting events.

The village displays models of the typical houses of many ethnic groups, representatives of one of which is invited to stay for about two weeks each month to offer tourists a closer look at their culture.

During the time the ethnic groups stay at the village and present such activities as a gong performance, buffalo-sacrificial ceremony, rice-planting, weaving, fishing and wedding ceremonies./.