Sunday, October 24, 2010

What does an Ao Dai really mean?

Today I went to visit my aunt and we were talking about how I wanted to get an Ao Dai made in Vietnam and how much all of the costs are and such things. We were talking about how the modern Ao Dai of today with like the halter top Ao Dai or the the ones with no neck, or puffy sleves, or really long tails, how they don't look nearly as beautiful was the classic ones. yea, there're more modern but not necessarily any more stylish. Then, all of a suddent she dragged me upstairs to try on her very own ao dai and wanted to give me it instead of going to get one made for me. I thought that this gesture was really kind of her and it got me thinking about what an ao Dai really means to girls and Vietnam. I have worn plenty of Ao Dais in my lifetime, almost every year I had to get one made for me because of weddings and other celebrations. Wearing an Ao Dai to me was a symbol of traditionalism and classic Vietnamese beauty and that each Ao Dai that I have worn was connected with a special event and meaning. Like this Ao Dai I wore to my cousins wedding or this one was for my grandfather's funeral.. etc etc. I could never think to part with any one of them and because that they are tailored to fit your body , that each ao dai specially belongs and and was meant just for you.

now here I am with my grand aunt's Ao Dai and she is so dearly giving away to me, another ao dai to add to my collection and meaningful events in my life. I just couldn't believe that she would give me one of hers because I thought that there was so much more meaning in them. When I asked her if she was sure, she said yes, that she had no occasion to wear them anymore and that she knew right away that they would fit me. Therefore, this Ao Dai is probably the most special one in my closet since it was given to me by my aunt from Vietnam.

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