ClockMonday, 11/03/2024 16:22

Hue Ao Dai, a distinct feature

TTH.VN - Ao Dai has become a cultural symbol for Vietnamese women in general. For the women of Hue in particular, Ao Dai is a source of pride because Hue Ao Dai has been firmly established in the hearts of the people. For Ao Dai to flourish and be honored, the support and promotion by our sisters, by the members of the Women's Union throughout the province, are essential.

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 Women in Hue are graceful in their traditional Ao Dai

The image of a Hue woman in the traditional Ao Dai is a beautiful sight, a very distinct cultural feature of Hue," said Phan Ngoc Tho, Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, at a meeting with women in Thua Thien Hue province on the occasion of the 114th anniversary of International Women's Day on March 8th.

The love for Hue Ao Dai

Unable to buy tickets to return home for Tet, Lily Nguyen, from Phu Dien, Phu Vang (currently in Canada), had to wait until after Tet to visit Vietnam. Despite celebrating Tet far from home, she still enjoyed the taste of Vietnamese Tet with traditional dishes like banh chung, pickled onions... She also did not forget to get herself some charming Ao Dai outfits to dress up with friends during the New Year celebrations.

"Although there are many ready-made Ao Dai available online, I still love Hue Ao Dai, so I sent my measurements and asked a friend to have them tailored and sent to me. I often browse online and see women, mothers, and aunts in the countryside wearing beautifully tailored traditional Ao Dai, which I really like. When I wear Hue Ao Dai, I feel graceful and fitting for the 'Hue girl' standard," Lily said proudly, also mentioning two new Ao Dai sets she had just tailored upon returning to her hometown. "I had these two Ao Dai sets made to take photos at famous locations in Hue and to visit pagodas at the beginning of the year," Lily shared.

When returning to Hue to celebrate Tet with her family, Ms. Nguyen Thi Nam (living in Ho Chi Minh City) also chose some Ao Dai outfits for herself to wear on important days.

"As Tet approached, I asked my sister-in-law to have two Ao Dai sets tailored for me. Although they were made based on approximate measurements, they fit perfectly when I tried them on. Indeed, Hue Ao Dai tailors crafted them beautifully, meticulously sewing each stitch, and the silhouette of the Ao Dai is impeccable. Posting photos of myself wearing the Ao Dai to visit pagodas, to go out with my family on social media platforms, all my friends praised them, and many distant friends asked for recommendations on the tailor’s or requested assistance in placing orders. As someone living far from my hometown, seeing the popularity of Hue Ao Dai, I feel immensely proud," Ms. Nam expressed.

Perhaps the fondness for Hue Ao Dai among women living far from their hometowns like Ms. Nam, Ms. Lily, is nurtured by the images of beloved women in their neighborhoods on social media platforms. It is these images of graceful Hue women in Ao Dai on social media, in community groups... that contribute to promoting Hue Ao Dai, to the very unique image of Hue women.

As a primary school teacher, Ms. Huynh Thi Thu Trang (a teacher at Phu Binh Primary School, Hue City) often wears Ao Dai when she teaches, but on important occasions or when taking photos with friends, she still chooses to wear Ao Dai.

"I have a special love for Hue Ao Dai. All the Ao Dai in my wardrobe are tailor-made. Because the Ao Dai made by Hue tailors have unique features that accentuate the wearer's figure. In the past, only certain professions like teachers, bankers... wore Ao Dai more frequently, but in recent years, I've noticed that the trend of Hue women wearing Ao Dai on special occasions or festivals has become very popular. There isn't any specific rule, but perhaps in the subconscious of every Hue woman, the Ao Dai is a symbol, a tribute, creating beauty for special occasions," Ms. Thu Trang shared.

Ao Dai shares love

Hue Ao Dai is neither cheap nor expensive. However, not all women have the means to buy one or several Ao Dai to wear on festive occasions, especially on women's days. Therefore, the "Closet of Beloved Ao Dai," initiated by the Provincial Women's Union, has truly been a meaningful way to share love with women in difficult circumstances.

The slightly worn Ao Dai outfits of more well off women are washed clean and hung neatly in the beloved closets at local Women's Unions to be given to needy members. Tens of thousands of such Ao Dai sets have reached the hands of needy members. By the time the festivals arrive, all members can wear charming Ao Dai.

Ms. Vo Thi Anh, a member of the Women's Union in Thuy Van Ward, Hue City, shared: I'm busy all year round, so I rarely wear Ao Dai, let alone get them tailored. But since actively participating in activities and movements organized by the ward Women's Union, seeing fellow sisters dressing up in Ao Dai, I've become "obsessed" with them too. Once "obsessed," I not only join in the Union's Ao Dai movement but also wear Ao Dai on important occasions like weddings, engagements...

Ao Dai is not only the characteristic attire of women's union members at all levels but also, thanks to the dissemination and promotion efforts of each women's union member, it has become more familiar and widely used in the daily lives and activities of women. The youthful blue Ao Dai of youth union members, or the Ao Dai made from traditional materials, somewhat express the love for Ao Dai among people of all ages.

Ms. Ho Thi Tanh, Chairwoman of the Women's Union of Quang Nham Commune, A Luoi District, stated: “Besides the uniform Ao Dai of the Women's Union, the traditional Ao Dai, our commune's women's union members also have Ao Dai made from traditional materials, a unique cultural feature of our people. As women's union members, wearing Ao Dai made from traditional materials is not only a creative act but also a way to promote products made from Zeng weaving, bringing them closer to people”.

Ms. Tran Thi Kim Loan, Chairwoman of the Provincial Women's Union, said: “Not only during Ao Dai weeks, through various forms, women's union members throughout the province have contributed to promoting and spreading the beauty of traditional Hue Ao Dai. To make the image of Thua Thien Hue women in Ao Dai a beauty of Hue culture, besides strengthening propaganda, the provincial Women's Union has directed women's union chapters at all levels to implement various activities to encourage women to use Ao Dai, seeing Ao Dai not only as a uniform but also as a garment associated with life, such as giving and sharing Ao Dai with needy union members...”

Not only during Ao Dai weeks, but also the beautiful moments of officials and union members in Ao Dai at famous landscapes, cultural relics in the province, have contributed to promoting the image of Ao Dai and famous tourist destinations in Thua Thien Hue to the public both domestically and internationally. Each moment of Thua Thien Hue women in Ao Dai not only honors the beauty of traditional Hue Ao Dai but also honors the graceful, youthful, vibrant, dedicated beauty of Thua Thien Hue women, connected with love and pride for their homeland.

Story and photo: THANH THAO
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