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Ao dai

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Soviet cogitations: 418
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 May 2009, 06:47
Komsomol
Post 19 Aug 2009, 13:36
As I have promised, here is the information about my country's traditional costume.

It's quite long but read all if you can.

History
A lasting impression for any visitor to Vietnam is the beauty of the women dressed in their ao dais. Girls dressed in white pick their way through muddy streets going home from school or sail by in a graceful chatter on their bikes. Secretaries in delicate pastels greet you at an office door and older ladies in deep shades of purple, green or blue cut a striking pose eating dinner at a restaurant. The ao dai appears to flatter every figure. Its body-hugging top flows over wide trousers that brush the floor. Splits in the gown extend well above waist height and make it comfortable and easy to move in. Although virtually the whole body is swathed in soft flowing fabric, these splits give the odd glimpse of a bare midriff, making the outfit very sensual. Rapidly becoming the national costume for ladies, its development is actually very short compared to the country's history.
18th century
Peasant women typically wore a skirt (vay) and halter top (ao yem).Influenced by the fashions of China's imperial court, aristocrats favored less revealing clothes. In 1744, Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat of Hue decreed that both men and women at his court wear trousers and a gown with buttons down the front.Writer Le Quy Don described the newfangled outfit as an ao dai (long shirt). The members of the southern court were thus distinguished from the courtiers of the Trinh Lords in Hanoi, who wore a split-sided jacket and a long skirt


19th century
The ao tu than, a traditional four-paneled gown, evolved into the five-paneled ao ngu than in the early 19th century."Ngu" is Sino-Vietnamese for "five." It refers not only to the number of panels, but also to the five elements in oriental cosmology. The ao ngu than had a loose fit and sometimes had wide sleeves. Wearers could display their prosperity by putting on multiple layers of fabric, which at that time was costly. Despite Vietnam's topical climate, northern aristocrats were known to wear three to five layers.


Two women wear "ao ngu than", the form of the ao dai worn in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesThe ao ngu than had two flaps sewn together in the back, two flaps sewn together in the front, and a "baby flap" hidden underneath the main front flap. The gown appeared to have two-flaps with slits on both sides, features preserved in the later ao dai. Compared to a modern ao dai, the front and back flaps were much broader and the fit looser. It had a high collar and was buttoned in the same fashion as a modern ao dai. Women could wear the dress with the top few buttons undone, revealing a glimpse of their "yem" underneath.
20th century
Modernization of style
In 1930, Hanoi artist Cat Tuong, also known as Le Mur, designed a dress inspired by the ao ngu than and by Paris fashions. It reached to the floor and fit the curves of the body by using darts and a nipped-in waist. When fabric became inexpensive, the rationale multiple layers and thick flaps disappeared. Modern texile manufacture allowed for wider panels, eliminating the need to sew narrow panels together. The ao dai Le Mur, or "trendy" ao dai, created a sensation when model Nguyen Thi Hau wore it for a feature published by the newspaper Today in January 1935. The style was promoted by the artists of Tu Luc van doan ("Self-Reliant Literary Group") as a national costume for the modern era. The painter Le Pho introduced several popular styles of ao dai beginning in 1934. Such Westernized garments temporarily disappeared during World War II.
Present day
No longer controversial politically, ao dai fashion design is supported by the Vietnamese government. It often called the ao dai Viet Nam to link it to patriotic feeling. Designer Le Si Hoang is a celebrity in Vietnam and his shop in Ho Chi Minh City is the place to visit for those who admire the dress.In Hanoi, tourists get fitted for ao dai on Luong Van Can Street. The elegant city of Hue in the central region is known for its ao dai, non la (leaf hats), and well-dressed women.
The ao dai is now standard for weddings, for celebrating Tet and for other formal occasions. A plain white ao dai is a common high school school uniform in the South. Companies often require their female staff to wear uniforms that include the ao dai, so flight attendants, receptionists, restaurant staff, and hotel workers in Vietnam may be seen wearing it.
Some more info and comments

Pronounced 'ao yai' in the south, but 'ao zai' in the north, the color is indicative of the wearer's age and status. Young girls wear pure white, fully lined outfits symbolizing their purity. As they grow older but are still unmarried they move into soft pastel shades. Only married women wear gowns in strong, rich colors, usually over white or black pants. The ao dai has always been more prevalent in the south than the north, but austerity drives after 1975 meant it was rarely anywhere seen for a number of years as it was considered an excess not appropriate for hard work. The nineties have seen a resurgence in the ao dai's popularity. "It has become standard attire for many office workers and hotel staff as well as now being the preferred dress for more formal occasions," says Huong, a secretary for a foreign company. "I feel proud of my heritage when I wear it." For visitors, the pink and blue of the Vietnam Airlines uniform creates a lasting memory as they travel.
Early versions of the ao dai date back to 1744 when Lord Vu Vuong of the Nguyen Dynasty decreed both men and women should wear an ensemble of trousers and a gown that buttoned down the front. It was not until 1930 that the ao dai as we know it really appeared. Vietnamese fashion designer and writer Cat Tuong, or as the French knew him, Monsieur Le Mur, lengthened the top so it reached the floor, fitted the bodice to the curves of the body and moved the buttons from the front to an opening along the shoulder and side seam. Men wore it less, generally only on ceremonial occasions such as at weddings or funerals. But it took another twenty years before the next major design change was incorporated and the modern ao dai emerged. During the 1950s two tailors in Saigon, Tran Kim of Thiet Lap Tailors and Dung of Dung Tailors, started producing the gowns with raglan sleeves. This creates a diagonal seam running from the collar to the underarm and today, this style is still preferred.
Its popularity is also spreading well beyond Vietnam's borders. For years Vietnamese immigrants preferred to adopt Western dress and blend with their new community but now the ao dai is seeing a revival amongst overseas Vietnamese. At least here in the United States this may be partly due to the arrival of Tram Kim, known as Mr. Ao Dai. He shifted to California in 1982 and opened a new branch of Thiet Lap Tailors in Garden Grove, Orange County, leaving his Saigon store to his son. There are even annual Miss Ao Dai pageants held and the prestigious Long Beach show attracts entrants from across the country. The clothing has also inspired French designers including top names such as Christian Lacroix and Claude Montana, and variations of the tight sleeves, fitted bodice, high collar and flowing trousers have been seen on the catwalks of Europe.
Every ao dai is custom made, accounting for the fit that creates such a flattering look. Stores specialize in their production and a team of cutters, sewers and fitters ensure that the final product will highlight the figure of the wearer. Thuy, a fitter in Ho Chi Minh City, says, "To create the perfect fit, customers take their undergarments and shoes with them for the fittings." The pants should reach the soles of the feet and flow along the floor.
Comfort has not been forgotten at the expense of fashion and beauty. The cut allows the wearer freedom of movement and despite covering the whole body, it is cool to wear. Synthetic fabrics are preferred as they do not crush and are quick drying, making the ao dai a practical uniform for daily wear.
Its popularity may be its undoing as the garment is now being mass produced to make it more available and cheaper. The gown length appears to be gradually shortening and today is usually just below the knee. Variations in the neck, between boat and mandarin style, are common and even adventurous alterations such as a low scooped neckline, puffed sleeves or off the shoulder designs are appearing as ladies experiment with fashion. Colors are no longer as rigidly controlled and access to new fabrics has created some dazzling results. But most visitors to Vietnam agree that the tailors already have the perfect cut. It is hard to think of a more elegant, demure and yet sexy outfit, that suits Vietnamese women of all ages, than the ao dai.
Here are some pics:
My chemistry teacher:
Image

A famous model in my country:
Image

Image
"Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today."
Leonid Brezhnev
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 19 Aug 2009, 20:40
Did you write this yourself comrade?

Quote:
Despite Vietnam's topical climate, northern aristocrats were known to wear three to five layers.


Oh man...

They certainly have an interesting history. I don't really get why they were frowned upon in post revolutionary Vietnam for a while. I completely understand why Eastern Communists would want to keep Western culture from dominating their own local culture, but this dress goes back long enough for it to have become part of Vietnam's cultural identity. Revolutionaries who came to power in a newly unified country in the mid 1970's can't do much about that.

The only thing I'm not sure I like is this:

Quote:
Pronounced 'ao yai' in the south, but 'ao zai' in the north, the color is indicative of the wearer's age and status. Young girls wear pure white, fully lined outfits symbolizing their purity. As they grow older but are still unmarried they move into soft pastel shades. Only married women wear gowns in strong, rich colors, usually over white or black pants.


By the way, I like your chemistry teacher....
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 May 2009, 06:47
Komsomol
Post 20 Aug 2009, 10:22
Well, that's traditional. Many traditions in many country are sophisticated, people only keep it because...their parents and grandparents keep it.
I don't and I can't type all of these. I use 50 to 60% of info from the internet, partly because I am not sure about my english skill.
Americans and French who came to my country have changed the ao dai a lot.From 4 or 5 layers it only remains 1 (the version of ao dai being used now), the 4 or 5 layers ones are now not very wide in use.It only used in the countryside's festivals. That's why in 1975 the north vnmese abolished ao dai (they think it was a kind of western culture, not traditional anymore). And about ages, I'm sure that older women wear darker color clothes, not only ao dai, in my country.
How old are you? My teacher is 23. I don't know if she like communism or not, but at least she doesn't hate Soviet music.
.
"Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today."
Leonid Brezhnev
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2009, 19:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 20 Aug 2009, 16:19
You have a very young teacher, CPSR.

I don't think Ao dai is western culture, I think it come from Shanghai (Vietnamese Ao dai and Chinese Qipao have many similar thing).

And what is wrong with Western culture? I must say that Western culture is one of the greatest culture in the world. I like Western literature and Chinese literature the most.
"Stalin brought us up — on loyalty to the people, He inspired us to labor and to heroism!" Soviet Anthem 1944.
Let's work hard and do valorous deed!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 21 Aug 2009, 01:32
CPSR wrote:
Well, that's traditional. Many traditions in many country are sophisticated, people only keep it because...their parents and grandparents keep it.


So, women don't get discriminated against based on the colour of the Ao Dai they wear?

Quote:
I don't and I can't type all of these. I use 50 to 60% of info from the internet, partly because I am not sure about my english skill.


I see. It would be good if you could add the sources you used to the end so we can see where you got your information from.

Quote:
Americans and French who came to my country have changed the ao dai a lot.From 4 or 5 layers it only remains 1 (the version of ao dai being used now), the 4 or 5 layers ones are now not very wide in use.It only used in the countryside's festivals. That's why in 1975 the north vnmese abolished ao dai (they think it was a kind of western culture, not traditional anymore).


I guess I can understand the thinking there, but it doesn't seem to be too much of a big thing.

Quote:
How old are you? My teacher is 23. I don't know if she like communism or not, but at least she doesn't hate Soviet music.


I'm 20, so there's not much of an age difference
. Like Engelsist said, I'm surprise she's that young. She must have only just graduated from university. Is she a good teacher?

Engelsist wrote:
And what is wrong with Western culture? I must say that Western culture is one of the greatest culture in the world. I like Western literature and Chinese literature the most.


Quick answer:
It is strongly connected with imperialism. Economic and Colonial before that. From what I've seen, Western culture often dominates over local culture and encourages capitalistic values such as greed and selfishness (individualism)... if it is allowed to. We Socialists encourage collective values and it's hard to do that with competition which drowns out our message. For example Since Deng's "opening up and reform", many Chinese have been seduced by selfishness and a Utopian idea of what life is like in the Western world. I've noticed that quite a few of my Chinese friends who have come to my country to study have been somewhat disillusioned after seeing the real thing.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 May 2009, 06:47
Komsomol
Post 21 Aug 2009, 10:02
So you had thought that my teacher is older?
Well, she's very good at chemistry but not very good at teaching...I mean too virtuous to teach us.(My class has some naughty students, and she can't treat them). She is so friendly with us, not as the others (old teachers) who always appear with evil faces
"Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today."
Leonid Brezhnev
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Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 21 Aug 2009, 13:08
I thought she was older, but I can't see her face in the picture you showed me. It looks to me that she is just inexperienced and trying to do the right thing by you guys. She will eventually learn how to deal with the problem kids and still (hopefully) be nice to the people who want to learn. The others who are just angry all the time do that as their way of dealing with the problem kids. Unfortunately it can turn off the good ones from wanting to learn.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2009, 19:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 21 Aug 2009, 14:37
Quote:
It is strongly connected with imperialism. Economic and Colonial before that. From what I've seen, Western culture often dominates over local culture and encourages capitalistic values such as greed and selfishness (individualism)... if it is allowed to.


Western culture is bourgeoisie culture, but bourgeoisie culture isn't completely corrupt. It has good side and bad side. From XV century to XIX century, the bourgeoisie culture is revolutionary, it release people in the world from feudalistic and ancient culture, it encourages freedom and liberty. But when bourgeoisie reached its highest glory in XIX century, the bourgeoisie and its culture have begun to corrupt and it is very corrupt now. But it is still better than old feudalist culture. And what is "local culture", aren't Marxists internationalist?
"Stalin brought us up — on loyalty to the people, He inspired us to labor and to heroism!" Soviet Anthem 1944.
Let's work hard and do valorous deed!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 May 2009, 06:47
Komsomol
Post 21 Aug 2009, 16:33
well, westerners are Europeoids (I don't know the exact name), we Asians are Mongoloids, so we have differences not only in appearance (skin color, eyes color, height, etc) but cultures. And communism only connected us by our political ideas, not all the kind of cultures, so Russians have similar culture to Westerners than Asians.
Leonid Brezhnev said
Quote:
Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today.

BTW, I said that Americans and French changed the ao dai in colonial eras. And some (just some, not all) communists who fought against them not only hate them but everything belongs to them, so they don't like ao dai. But everything changed after 1986.

(When South VN was liberated in 1975, many of modern planes and tanks the US left in my countries was destroyed, and now VN has to buy some weapons from USA with high prices).
P/s: In VN, it is forbidden to use mobile phones, cameras,... - all high-tech things, while studying. My friend took this photo in class, so he couldn't take it while my teacher was looking at him.
If you really want to see her face, here is a video on youtube:(rotate your head 45 degrees before watching):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCVCnblDxhU
"Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today."
Leonid Brezhnev
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 27 Oct 2006, 23:10
Politburo
Post 21 Aug 2009, 19:13
Quote:
well, westerners are Europeoids (I don't know the exact name),

Caucasoids?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 May 2009, 06:47
Komsomol
Post 22 Aug 2009, 03:35
I haven't heard it before.
"Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today."
Leonid Brezhnev
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Soviet cogitations: 208
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2009, 19:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 22 Aug 2009, 04:25
Caucasoid is different name of Europeoid.
"Stalin brought us up — on loyalty to the people, He inspired us to labor and to heroism!" Soviet Anthem 1944.
Let's work hard and do valorous deed!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 May 2009, 06:47
Komsomol
Post 22 Aug 2009, 14:49
W...I didn't suppose that kind of answer before.
"Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today."
Leonid Brezhnev
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Soviet cogitations: 4953
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 13 Feb 2008, 15:25
Ideology: Other Leftist
Politburo
Post 23 Aug 2009, 05:50
Engelsist wrote:
Western culture is bourgeoisie culture, but bourgeoisie culture isn't completely corrupt. It has good side and bad side. From XV century to XIX century, the bourgeoisie culture is revolutionary, it release people in the world from feudalistic and ancient culture, it encourages freedom and liberty.


Even back then, bourgeois culture was only progressive for those with white skin mostly. It was still progressive in terms of economic development, but that's a different subject.

Quote:
But when bourgeoisie reached its highest glory in XIX century, the bourgeoisie and its culture have begun to corrupt and it is very corrupt now. But it is still better than old feudalist culture. And what is "local culture", aren't Marxists internationalist?


Yes. Marxists are internationalist, but I think part of this is respecting the local and national cultures of the worlds national groups (by local culture I mean, things like tribal culture which has survived to the present day). Juche takes that a bit too far, but I don't see a problem with the desire to maintain Korean culture and national identity. That doesn't mean we have to stop encouraging a new internationalist consciousness. In the USSR, the Soviet government went to enormous trouble to preserve the cultural heritage of small and national cultural groups within the republics, even if that meant the only remnants were preserved in a museum and history lessons in the classroom.

I enjoy learning from people with a completely different cultural background to me. That would disappear if were all part of one single national culture.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 May 2009, 19:37
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 23 Aug 2009, 14:45
Having many different cultures is a good things.
"Stalin brought us up — on loyalty to the people, He inspired us to labor and to heroism!" Soviet Anthem 1944.
Let's work hard and do valorous deed!
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 May 2009, 06:47
Komsomol
Post 23 Aug 2009, 16:10
...But import everything from western cultures is not good.
"Whatever may divide us, Europe is a common home, a common fate that has linked us for years, and it continues to link us today."
Leonid Brezhnev
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Soviet cogitations: 2407
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 01 Nov 2003, 13:17
Ideology: Other
Forum Commissar
Post 11 Jan 2010, 11:51
How is "western" culture bourgeois? That is an outrageous assertion.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Dec 2009, 15:41
Pioneer
Post 11 Jan 2010, 15:22
The surface of the Western culture, what we usually see on TV, Internet, other media... nowadays is made by the bourgeoisie.

The "Soviet" culture was made by the poletarian and therefore not bourgeoise.

By the way, sorry, you dug this thread.
The Big Three in the 22nd century :
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An East-Asian must be patriotic, don't you think ?
Soviet cogitations: 10005
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jul 2008, 20:01
Ideology: Trotskyism
Philosophized
Post 11 Jan 2010, 15:44
Post more pics of your chemistry teacher.
"Don't know why i'm still surprised with this shit anyway." - Loz
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Soviet cogitations: 149
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Dec 2009, 15:41
Pioneer
Post 12 Jan 2010, 09:33
My teachers don't wear aodai. My school is being rebuilt and so they're afraid the aodais would be ruined.
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An East-Asian must be patriotic, don't you think ?
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