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25/07/2020 - 07:18

Travelling around the world through Cosplay

Cosplay (a form of costume play) is the current trend of the young generation, when they want to have check-in photos in many countries while staying in Hue.

“Áo tấc” – a Vietnamese identity costume

New generation of cosplay

Cosplay is a hobby in which people transforms into game or comic book characters of many countries. However, with improvements, cosplay has recently made variations.

Dinh Thi Mai Anh, a Hue girl in-love-with cosplay, said that “originally, cosplay is very complicated because the cosplayer needs so many things from the correct costume sets, accessories to charisma. However, if you still keep all of the standards, it is very difficult to pursue the cosplay because this hobby requires not only deep knowledge but also time and money.” Thus, historical cosplay is becoming a new option for young people in Hue.

“I have the opportunity to become a different, new and strange version, temporarily away from the daily jeans and dresses. Although recently developed, many of my friends are also fascinated with cosplay, transforming into boys and girls different from those with modern appearance of today.”

Full range of costumes with accessories

Instead of spending millions or even tens of millions VND to become a favorite cartoon character, Hue young people choose to rent costumes to cosplay. Thus, a historical costume rental service is born tomeet that demand.

Ms. Mai Thi Hong Hanh, with 3 years into her cosplay costume rental business, told us: “Firstly, we only had Chinese costumes. Later, due to changing demands, the products have been invested to be more diverse with a variety of costumes of other countries, such as Japan’s kimono, Korea’s hanbok, Thailand’s Chakkri, European costumes, and of course, historical Vietnamese costumes as well.”

“The rental fee can be somewhat from VND 100,000 to more than 1,000,000, determined by many factors such as fabric quality, sophistication level, patterns to the delicate of the seams on the costumes. It also comes with makeup, hair styling, as well as accessories,” Ms. Hanh said.

Thailand costume

As a student major in Chinese Language at the University of Foreign Languages, Mai Anh chose Chinese costumes to satisfy her passion. “I want to transform into a beautiful Chinese girl. As a passion, this is also an imprint, a youth moment that I believe many young people also want to save.”

Learning history through ancient costume

Cosplay is not simply a hobby. It also creates an opportunity for the young generation to learn about the history and cultural stories of their country as well as the other countries in the world.

 “The patterns on the neck of this dress when combined will form a rectangle on the wearer’s chest, thus given the costume the name “Nhật bình”. This is the casual costume of queen, princess and concubine of the Nguyen Dynasty. Currently, the young cosplayers are following the trend of the costumes of this reign,” Ms. Hong Hanh said, while caring for each seam of the dress on her hand.

Through music videos like that of Hoa Minzy (singer), or films like Phượng Khấu, the knots of history and dynasties in the past are brought back, vividly and attractively. Aside from putting on royal costumes, the tales around the ones who had put on them; the status of the costumes … they all give the younger generation a better understanding and appreciation of their country and ancestors. 

According to Mr. Nguyen Hai Luc, owner of a royal ancient cosplay costume rental shop, every costume, such as “áo tấc”, “Nhật Bình dress”, or “five-body dress” has their own origins and historical tales woven into them. As the owner, he has to research carefully in order to correctly inform his customers, so that they would be able to keep the spirit of the costume they want to put on.

It takes great effort in order to gather a standard complete set of costume, Mr. Luc has to search for the items everywhere, even if it’s just an accessory. Holding a Korean hat from the Joseon era, he explained: “This may look simple, but I had to pay more than 1 million VND for it. Lack of this gat (name of the hat), the Joseon costume set like lack of vitality. Even when it’s just basic cosplay, as approaching historical costumes, young people still need to handle them with great care and respect”. Not just the dress, pants, hat and scarves, accessories, shoes, all need to be made carefully and correctly.

With many temples, tombs and beautiful scenery, Hue becomes a gathering place for young people who love cosplay. Imperial City, or tombs suit for ancient Vietnamese costumes; The rows of trees and lakes are fluttering with the grace of Chinese costumes, while Thien Lam Pagoda is the best choice for girls in Thai chakkri ...

With just a little money, a passion and a courageous pair of feet that are not afraid of Hue’s summer heat, anyone in Hue can travel the world with countless different cultural features.

Story and photos: Mai Hue

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