2.06.2008

February 3 - Tet festival day 2: Kung Fu and catwalks

Pay attention or it'll eat you.
I'm serious.

We headed out early to the second day of Tet because we'd heard tell of a martial arts exhibition.
Kick ass.

I was previously unaware that my people commanded martial arts. I knew the Japanese, Chinese, and Korean did martial arts, but as far as I knew all the Vietnamese did was manicures.

As it turns out, we just stole some Kung Fu from the Chinese, but I'm okay with that. And the exhibition was not only entertaining, but informative. For instance, I learned that. . .

Boys fight with swords.

Manly.

Girls fight with fans.

Girly.

And grownups fight with. . .

Wait, is that. . . ?
Hey, that looks like a. . .
HOLY SHIT IT'S AN A-K!

I 'm not sure what message they were trying to send, but I certainly wouldn't mess with them.

After the intimidation tactics, it was time for. . .

FASHION!!

Turn to the left!

I've been enthralled for some time now with Vietnamese fashion. The traditional dress is called an Ao Dai. It's basically a very fitted, long-sleeved dress over pants. It sounds nerdy but it's actually quite beautiful. On very skinny women. So basically I'd have to drop 20 pounds to pull one off. But I still want one.

I'd never seen Vietnamese culture represented in modern fashion, so I was very interested to see what the designer, Thai Nguyen, had to present.

video

In my opinion, his designs are pretty, but the pieces I liked the most were the ones that resembled more traditional-looking Ao Dai. And I really liked how the models struck a pose after their runway walk:

Ta-da!

The designer came out after the runway show to talk about his designs. In Vietnamese. So while I didn't understand it, what I gathered was that he's very gay. And short. Even by Asian standards.

What an accomplishment for me!

And he seems very excited to bring Vietnamese culture to the forefront of the fashion world. And more power to him. I'd love to see more Vietnamese-inspired designs in the market - as far as I know I'd have to get anything along those lines custom made and flown in to me. And they really are lovely outfits.

Well, that's it for the celebration. Tet is actually officially tomorrow. Good luck to everyone in the new year - we're all going to need it.

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