Vietnamese Beauties at the San Jose Ao Dai Festival

A fact about me: before coming to America, the first year of my life was spent in a Vietnamese refugee camp in the Philippines (which my parents fled to in order to escape communist rule.)  Growing up in an immigrant family, Vietnamese culture was so deeply ingrained in my fiber.  Just test my blood and you’ll probably find traces of ‘nuoc cham.’

So when the 2nd annual Ao Dai festival took place I had to stop by to support my people.  Every woman was donning a beautiful Ao Dai. Some history behind our national costume: these flowy feminine pant dresses came about when a Nguyen dynasty emperor banned skirts in 1841.  He deemed them ‘silly bottomless pants.’  And to think, elsewhere in the world women were chastised for wearing pants!

Though I sadly know very little of the language anymore, I am proud to be a Vietnamese woman.  Enjoy these beauties from young to old.

Aren’t those old ladies cute? I wonder what secrets they are sharing.