Culture Culture

03/04/2022 - 08:46

The return of ancient costume: a cultural beauty in life

Recently, the movement of “reviving” the national costume has strongly developed. A variety of costumes originating from Hue such as five-panel Ao dai, Ao tac, and Ao dai Nhat Binh are well liked and worn by many people with pride.

Tran Nhu Bich Ha looks charming in ancient costume. Photo: Nam Trieu Y Trang Vien

Spreading in life

On Tet this year, Hue was filled with people in colorful Ao dai. Among those who “checked in” at parks and relics to have their photos taken on the first days of the new year, many wore ancient costume mainly five-panel Ao dai and Ao dai Nhat Binh.

Facebook was also full of photos of people wearing Ao dai to pagodas or on their sightseeing tours, and taking part in spring activities and festivals. It was no exaggeration to say that there was a “renaissance" of ancient costume this year.

On Tet holidays the space named “Ancient Flavor of Vietnamese Tet" on Nguyen Sinh Cung Street in Hue attracted quite a large number of visitors in ancient costume who came to experience activities and had their photos taken.

According to the fashion designer Quang Hoa, many people brought their “renovated” Ao dai, but on arriving and seeing the place, they changed their minds to wear traditional five-panel Ao dai. Everyone was excited to recall old traditional values.

According to Dr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of the Department of Culture and Sports, recently, especially on Tet holidays, the Vietnamese traditional costumes have been recovered in Hue and are spreading strongly throughout the country. People of different ages choose Ao tac, narrow-sleeved five-panel Ao dai, and Ao dai Nhat Binh for Tet.

Tailor’s shops and costume rental shops were filled with orders. Even after Tet, a large number of visitors to Hue want to borrow, rent, or have this ancient costume made.

“The traditional Ao dai once again affirms its symbolic value of Vietnamese culture. The image of the traditional Ao dai fluttering on every street is becoming more and more popular. It is the people’s love for the traditional Ao dai that contributes to reviving the national costume of Vietnam,” commented Mr. Hai.

The photo collection that won the first prize in the photo contest “Sac ao thoi xanh” by Tran Huu Phuong. Photo: Legend of Hue

Ao tacAo dai Nhat Binh, and five-panel Ao dai have made a spectacular comeback and are well received by young people who begin to value the cultural beauty of ancient costume. According to the young girl Tran Nhu Bich Ha, every time she wears this costume, she feels the value of delicate Hue culture. Ancient costume enhances the unique beauty which no other costume can do. 

With her love for ancient costume, Bich Ha worked as a model in the photo collection promoting the beauty of the Hue heritage through ancient costume by Nam Trieu Y Trang Vien.

The cultural value through costume

With the love for ancient costume and the Vietnamese traditional culture, earlier this year, Legend of Hue (sponsored by the Provincial Research and Development Institute) organized the contest “Sac ao thoi xanh” with a view to spreading the beauty of traditional costume, especially five-panel Ao daiAo tac and Ao dai Nhat Binh. More than 30 video clips and photographs entered the contest and received thousands of interactions on Facebook

The contest originated from the concerns about culture by members of Legend in Hue, most of whom are university students. “At school, contacting different cultures, we realize that while other countries have their own costume symbols such as Japan with Kimono, Korea with Hanbok, Vietnam doesn't really have a similar symbol. With the return of ancient costume, Legend of Hue decides to choose it as our first theme,” said Phan Thi Thuy Trang, the coordinator of Legend in Hue.

“With the contest, traditional costume becomes more popular in modern life. We also want to spread our love for ancient costume to everyone in general and young people in particular”.

According to the fashion designer Minh Tan, recently, many people have begun to pay attention to ancient costume, especially five-panel Ao dai and Ao dai Nhat Binh. Many young people wore them in their weddings. It is a good signal when many people choose to return to traditional culture. The vibrant movement of wearing ancient costume in Hue with the project of building Hue into a “Kingdom of Ao dai” is spreading to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. 

“At first, I looked at ancient costume with excitement and anticipation combined. They then soon became respect and love. Wearing traditional costume, I feel proud of my identity. The return of ancient costume is like an invisible beautiful and strong tie which connects the present with the past and the future,” said Thuy Trang with excitement. 

The return and spread of ancient costume is a good signal, showing that people’s awareness of traditional cultural identity and the beauty of Vietnamese costume is increasing day by day. The return of ancient costume also gives Hue a new color. Used properly, it will become a suitable outfit. This tendency creates favorable conditions for building Hue into the “Capital of Ao dai Vietnam”.