Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Two women from the Vietnamese communities in Germany and Poland won the first áo dài contest for Vietnamese women in Europe held June 17 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Áo dài is the Vietnamese traditional long dress.
Đặng Thị Bích Lan, from the Vietnamese community in Germany, won the first prize in the category for women over 51 years old, while Trần Hoàng Mai Anh from Poland won the first prize in the 35 to 50 years old category.
The contest gathered 90 Vietnamese women living in European countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Hungary, as well as Norway, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
The contestants went through three rounds of judging on June 15 and 16, where they were assessed in party costumes, the áo dài, and the reformed áo dài. After those rounds, the judging board selected eight beauties to proceed to the question-and-answer round.
In addition to the two first prizes, the contest awarded two second prizes, four third prizes, and 12 additional prizes for the two categories.
The event was held to draw attention to the charm of Vietnamese women and the traditional long dress to encourage young Vietnamese people abroad to understand and be proud of the national dress.
“I’m a close friend to the Vietnamese people and culture,” said Lucas Kaucky, former deputy Foreign Minister of Czech Republic who is now the chairman of Ethnic Minority Council of Prague City.
“This is the first time I have attended such an event and I was very impressed. The contest is a typical act to strengthen the relationship between local community and Vietnamese community in Czech Republic,” he said.
Seemingly moved as she received the prize, Mai Anh said she was always highly-aware of her duty to promote the traditional long dress.
“This is a really humane contest, praising the beauty of women’s bodies as well as the behavior and mental beauty of women in modern society,” she said. “As the first prize winner, I will try my best to promote the charm and gentleness of the Vietnamese traditional long dress wherever I am.”
People’s Artist Thái Bảo, who was invited to be a member of the judging panel, could not hide her surprise at the how well the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic organised the contest.
“Vietnamese women who live anywhere in the world always want to express themselves, not only in society but also in their families,” Bảo said. “They want to share the same language through the traditional long dress.”
“Wherever they go, the image of traditional long dress is so familiar,” she said. “They would be proud and even moved when seeing Vietnamese traditional long dress outside Việt Nam.”
The second Áo Dài For Women contest will be hosted by Dresden City in 2020. — VNS