|A young woman depicting the role of Bodhisattva in a Buddhist procession in Thừa Thiên - Huế can be seen wearing a Western-style bridal gown, which many said to be a serious wardrobe oversight. — Photo danviet.com.vn|Viet Nam News
Earlier last week, social media had a field day over a young woman who was wearing an unmistakably Western-style wedding dress while she was supposed to play the role of Bodhisattva of Compassion, a highly revered Buddhist deity figure in Việt Nam, in a Buddhist festival in the central province of Thừa Thiên – Huế.
Granted, the Goddess of Mercy in modern representations is usually depicted in pure white attire while meditating on top of a lotus petal throne, but a bridal gown might be too loose an interpretation in a festival that is not known for its shock value.
The Bodhisattva surely was not blameless, but the lion’s share of the blame must be put on the costume designers who thought it was an acceptable idea.
Many expressed indignation at the disrespectful incident.
Later, Hương Thuỷ Town authorities said that the festival to honour the Goddess was organised by the Huế Province branch of Việt Nam Buddhist Sangha on July 31 (18-19th day of the sixth Lunar month), but the procession of Bodhisattva was sorted by the local Buddhists.
The organisers apologised for the oversight and pledged better preparations in the following years’ celebrations.—VNS