Ao Dai

In Attire
Relationship: Child of im/migrant
The Typical Ao Dai.
The Typical Ao Dai.

The nostalgic feeling hits again every time you look at this breathtaking masterpiece. Every time you run your fingers over the soft silky fabric. Every tiny stitch carefully sewn on the dress, every little detail matters. Ao Dai (/ˌou ˈdī/) is a  traditional Vietnamese dress, a long sleeve dress-like tunic with slits on either side and wide pants. Ao Dai is worn on special occasions like Lunar New Years' and a once-in-a-lifetime day; your wedding day. In Vietnam, we do not wear the typical white dress most people wear on their wedding day instead we wear a red Ao Dai with golden details. Red stands for good luck in Vietnam that's why most traditional Ao Dai’s you find will be in red but they can come in all colors and prints. In Vietnam, the school uniform for female students is a white Ao Dai usually patched with the school’s name/logo. Since the Ao Dai is a traditional dress in Vietnam, schools are very strict about the dress code, a little imperfection can lead to discipline. Nevertheless, this beautiful dress never fails to make me smile. Seeing this dress always reminds me of those innocent childhood days running around in the ankle-length, tunic-like dress nearly tripping on the silky fabric holding a lantern with a small candle in the middle, the smell of Braised Pork and Eggs hit your nose as your stomach yearns for that tender pork with steaming white rice. This is America for me, sharing my own culture and getting a chance to learn everyone's different traditions and heritage.

Place(s): Vietnam

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Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant