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There can be few things more pleasing to the eye than a fine lady in a fine dress. In Vietnam, ‘fine dress’ means the long, two-piece dress known as the ao dai, which is, of course, a national symbol. It consists of a flowing, tight-fitting tunic over loose pantaloons and is one of only a few Vietnamese words that one may find in an English dictionary. [ more... ]
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began wearing the ao dai (lit. ‘long gown’) at the age of 10, when my mother had sewed me a new ao dai for the Tet lunar new year as if to mark the figure of my person. Since then, the ao dai has followed me throughout my youth. The year that I matriculated at Dong Khanh Women’s Secondary School, my mother made the uniform out of white silk. [ more... ]
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uan Yu (Gong) is a deity in Chinese mythology, a remarkable figure in popular Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism. Confucianism considers him the ‘Martial God’ (whereas the ‘Intellectual God’ is Confucius himself). In Buddhism, he is a dharmapāla named Gia Lam Bodhisattva, and in Taoism, he is the ‘Great Triple Wrath King’. [ more... ]
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In Bao Lam District of Cao Bang Province, cows are highly valued because they help reduce poverty. Men love to take their cows to the fair just to show off. So, the people’s committee of the district chose the 20th of the first lunar month every year to organize a Beauty Cow Queen and Bull Fight festival. This has become the merriest and most crowded event of Cao Bang Province and the Northern highlands. [ more... ]
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It was getting cold when I came to Pa Xa Xa Village, Pa Thom Commune, Dien Bien District, near the border with Laos. [ more... ]
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Tet 2013, I went to see a festival in Dong Ky village in Tu Son District, Bac Ninh Province, near Hanoi. It began with a firecracker procession. [ more... ]
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To the Vietnamese, the New Year’s tree (cây nêu) is a much-cherished cultural symbol. It comes with a legend soaked in love to humanity. [ more... ]
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Goats, a familiar, unique and meaningful household animal, are also used as a sharp and humorous metaphor, in Vietnamese proverbs and folklore. [ more... ]
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2015 is a year of the Goat. The goat is not a very sympathetic animal, because people often use it as a symbol of unpleasant things; [ more... ]
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Pasteboard masks have been Hanoi kids’ toys, especially in the occasion of Mid-Autumn celebrations, for ages. But today, just a handful of people ...
In Phan Thiet, bánh hỏi with pig bowels (lòng heo) is synonymous with Phu Long Town, which is the name of the native place of this dish, where it is ...
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