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War veterans call for ao dai revival

Update: October, 11/2014 - 09:19
Fashionistas: Women, former politicial prisoners, perform popular revolutionary songs in ao dai during a talk on promoting the national dress at the HCM City War Remnants Museum yesterday. — VNS Photo Phuong Mai
HCM CITY (VNS)— More than 300 participants, mostly from governmental offices, veterans, universities and students, took part in a talk on promoting ao dai, the Vietnamese traditional costume for women.

The event was organised by a club of female officials at the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism at the HCM City War Remnants Museum yesterday to celebrate Vietnamese Women's Day on October 20.

The talk aims to introduce the beauty of ao dai and its conveniences.

It also sent a message to the community on preserving and promoting traditional clothes.

Le Tu Cam, chairwoman of the HCM City Cultural Heritage Association, said that in the past, ao dai was a uniform for women teachers, students and officials in most governmental agencies. Now, it is worn at special events.

"The ao dai is being replaced by more convenient clothes like skirts, trousers and shirts. Therefore, preservation of the national dress is a priority work for the community," Cam said.

She also gave some suggestions to the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism to promote the costume.

"The department should encourage women officials, especially those who are working in culture and tourism agencies, to wear ao dai every Monday and at special events," Cam said.

She called for women officials to become pioneers in preserving and promoting ao dai to the world.

At the event, female former political prisoners in ao dai presented instrumental and singing performances featuring popular revolutionary songs.

They also shared their experiences and memories about the role of ao dai in the political movements in Sai Gon.

In recent years, many activities, including exhibitions and seminars on ao dai in old and modern times, and the role of the costume, have been organised.

Last November, the War Remnants Museum hosted a one-month exhibition introducing designs in use during the war years used by female soldiers and Vietnamese women in activities to protect the country.

The first Ao Dai Festival was held at the city's Dam Sen Cultural Park in March. The two-day event introduced new collections of ao dai by well-known local designers, and a ao dai show performed by 2,000 women. — VNS

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