Ao Dai: My War, My Country, My Vietnam
by Phuong, Xuan , Mazingarbe, Daniele

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Published Price: £17.99
ISBN: 9780971840621
Previous ISBN: 0971840628
Published By: Emquad International, Ltd
Publication Date: 1 August 2004
Format: Hardback, 267pages, 220mm height, illustrations
Category:  true stories: vietnam war
Category: true war stories
Availability: This title is ordered upon request, usually dispatched within 3-7 working days
Please note that we cannot guarantee supply if the title is out of print or being reprinted
Brief Description
An autobiography of Dr Xuan Phuong, descendant of mandarins on both her parents’ sides, who leaves her family as a teenager to help the Vietminh fight first the Japanese, and then the French. This book traces how this young lady of privilege adjusted to the rigors of the Resistance and survived; and later married in the jungle and bore children.
Author Information
Xuan Phuong and Daniele Mazingarbe
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This is the extraordinary autobiography of Dr Xuan Phuong, descendant of mandarins on both her parents’ sides, who leaves her family as a teenager to help the Vietminh fight first the Japanese, and then the French. During the American phase of the war, she worked as a propagandist for the North and, dressed as a Vietcong, entered Saigon with their army. Throughout her time with the Resistance Phuong declared herself to be non-communist and – against her own best interest – refused to join the Party. In 1975, as she was witnessing the fall of Saigon, her parents and siblings were escaping to America on one of the last flights out. Twenty-five years later Phuong was at last reunited with her brothers and sisters and gravely ill mother on a visit to California, where she got to experience the good life in the land of a former ‘enemy’. Ao Dai traces how this young lady of privilege adjusted to the rigors of the Resistance and survived. She married in the jungle and bore children. There she met Ho Chi Minh and, later, in Hanoi, Joan Baez. She worked as a chemist, a physician, and a film-maker. After the war Dr Phuong opened an art gallery in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, where she lives to this day.


July 22, 2008 Widgets

Charming Vietnam show brought to UK
17:02′ 28/02/2008 (GMT+7)

Nam Dong De girl band performs in a Charming Vietnam show

VietNamNet Bridge – During the official visit of the Vietnamese Prime Minister to the UK, scheduled for March 4-5, a music and fashion program and a painting exhibition will be introduced in the United Kingdom in early March. Vietnamese Culture Week will also take place in the UK, from March 4-14.

London’s Central Hall Westminster will host the program on March 4 and 5, which will gather Vietnam’s top singers, like Thanh Lam, Hong Nhung, My Linh, Phuong Thanh, Quang Dung, Quang Linh and Dam Vinh Hung. A collection of ao dai named Saigon by famous designer Vo Viet Chung will also appear in the show.

Besides well-known local artists and models, the gala will also be attended by pianist Bich Tra who won the first prize at the Amy Brant Piano contest in Birmingham in 2001, and the first and the second best of the first ever Miss Vietnam Global pageant Ngo Phuong Lan and Teressa Sam.

As well as the Charming Vietnam show, an exhibition entitled “East – West integration” with paintings by Bui Huu Hung, Pham Luan, Hong Viet Dung, Nguyen Thanh Binh, Pham An Hai and Nguyen Tuan Cuong will introduce British audiences to Vietnamese arts.

Nguyen Thanh Binh’s paintings feature Hanoian girls in white ao dai. Pham Luan’s paintings depict Hanoi’s old quarter, while Bui Huu Hung’s paintings reveal the mysterious beauty of ancient Hue girls in old-styled ao dai.

The exhibition will open at the gallery of Limkokwing University in London from March 5-14.

The Charming Vietnam show is an annual event organized by Thanh Nien newspaper to raise funds for its Nguyen Thai Binh Scholarship program for poor students. The show was introduced in Australia and Singapore last year.

(Source: VNE)

I like Vietnamese traditional dress: Marc Jacobs CEO
17:05′ 24/03/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Spending a two day visit (March 20-21) in HCM City, Robert Duffy, Executive Officer of prestigious Marc Jacobs International design house, displayed his enthusiasm for Vietnam’s potential in developing its fashion industry.

He also expressed his delight and admiration for the Vietnamese traditional dress (ao dai) by saying that “I like Vietnamese ao dai”.

What are the purposes of your visit to Viet Nam this time? Do you have any idea about the Vietnamese fashion industry?

I wish to learn more about the country and the people. Your country has actually changed and developed a lot from ten years ago. That was the first time I came to Viet Nam. I stayed in Ha Noi at that time.

Honestly, I don’t know much about the fashion in Viet Nam; yet, I believe that Viet Nam will become a potential fashion market in the future. I like Vietnamese traditional dress (ao dai). I used to think that ao dai is a modern costume of your country, not a traditional one that has been worn for hundreds of years because of its attraction and modernity. In fact, ao dai beautifies the figures of Vietnamese women.

It seems to me that a number of fashion designers in the world have been inspired by ao dai. They have created new designs based on their ideas arising from the ao dai’s style.

In Viet Nam, we make ao dai from traditional fabrics with their typical characteristics like silkiness and buoyancy. Do you think such fabrics will become popular to designers from all over the world?

Marc Jacobs, who is the head designer of Marc Jacobs International, has used materials from countries all over the world including Viet Nam for his designs. I have dropped by some cloth stores in the country and was attracted by all kinds of fabrics there. I hope that I will have the chance to use Vietnamese silk for my new designs.

Although talented, many Vietnamese designers have not yet achieved success in their business. What must they do in order to sell their products on international markets?

If the opportunity arises, these talented designers should bring their collections of authentic Vietnamese fashion to Paris to introduce them in a fashion show to attract the attention from international viewers, designers and fashion companies. Remember, it must be Paris, not Japan or anywhere else. This is not only right for me but also to all other designers in the United States.

(Source: SGGP/TT)

Exploring the birthplace of Dong Son culture
14:08′ 28/03/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Saigontourist is launching a new four-day, three-night tour to the origin of Dong Son culture in Thanh Hoa Province, which is the site of the country’s largest bronze drum and relic restoration project.

Tam Coc – Bich Dong. (Photo:

Dong Son is an ancient culture that developed in Vietnam’s northern and central provinces during the late-prehistoric Bronze Age and early Iron Age. The culture is centered on the Hung King temple and the northern delta’s three main rivers – Red River, Ma River and Lam River.

Tourists departing from HCMC will fly to the city of Vinh in Nghe An Province where they will be transported to Sen Village, the birthplace of Uncle Ho, to spend the night.

The following day, tourists will head to museums in Thanh Hoa Province to view archaeological relics from Do Mountain, which is the cradle of ancient Vietnamese and Dong Son bronze drum culture. Next, tourists will travel to the Dong Son archeological site.

Tourists will then visit Lam Kinh, a national historical relic of the province. Lam Kinh, also known as Tay Kinh, is the second largest imperial city built by King Le Loi the first king of the Le Dynasty.

A trip to Tep Temple will give tourists the opportunity to bum incense to commemorate Le Lai, a hero who saved King Le Loi, the temples of the kings and queens and the Vinh Lang memorial that was created by Nguyen Trai to honor King Le Loi.

On the final day of the trip, tourists will return to Vinh to view the cultural relics of Truong Le mountain range at the Sam Son tourism site.

Tourists departing to Hanoi will travel by bus to see Tarn Coc (three caves), Bich Dong (Bich Cavern), the temples of King Dinh and Le kings and will spend one night in Ninh Binh Province.

On the second day in Hanoi, tourists will head to Thanh Nha Ho in Vinh Loc, which houses the architectural relics of the imperial city of the Ho Dynasty (1336-1407).

The city’s walls are built using five-metre tall and three-meter wide stones that weigh six tons per cubic meter. All four gates to the imperial city remain intact and the southern gate features a couple of stone dragons.

The tour from HCMC is priced at VND4.5mil per person for groups of 15. The tour from Hanoi is priced at VND1.52mil per person for groups of 15.

To promote Dong Son culture within Vietnam, local brands are introducing products featuring patterns typically carved on Dong Son bronze drums to consumers. Thai Tuan Textile & Garment Co. under the Three Season collection, Nino Maxx with their jeans and t-shirt collection and Sy Hoang with their ao dai fashion collection are participating in the project.

Other participants include Future One with souvenir miniature Dong Son bronze drums, Minh Long Co. with a tea set, Kinh Do Corp. with moon cakes, KTG with electronic switches, SJC with jewelry collection, Vinh Tien with notebooks, ToyCity with toy set, Phuong Nam Corp. with picture books, Nguyen Hoang Corp. with computer screens and mice and Bong Sen Corp. and TTT Corp. will collaborate to refurbish the interior of Vietnam House Restaurant.

The cultural night to introduce the new products took place at the White Palace Convention Center in HCMC late last week and attracted many national and international companies and representatives from the local consulate offices. Christophe Desriac, general manager of Microsoft Vietnam, who attended the cultural night, said that it is “a good idea to combine different companies around a common theme.”

(Source: SGT)

Thuan Viet shows his best designs in Japan
10:11′ 03/05/2008 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – The specialist ao dai designer Thuan Viet arrived in Osaka, Japan on Friday for five days of fashion shows and cultural goodwill in the Land of the Rising Sun.

A design of Thuan Viet’s “Crane’s Dance” collection.

Mr. Viet is presenting three collections – “Oriental Pearl”, “Viet Nam Spirit” and “Crane’s Dance” – containing 27 designs of the traditional outfit.

His ao dais are primarily made of silk and velvet and are elaborately embroidered to create a synthesis of modern and ancient decorative patterns.

“I’m honored to be chosen to show my collections in Japan,” Thuan Viet said before leaving Vietnam. “I am taking my best works featuring typical Vietnamese characteristics to bring out the charm of Vietnamese women.”

His Japanese sojourn is being sponsored by Vietnam Airlines and Elite Model Viet Nam.

Vietnamese designer showcases ao dai in Japan
One of the Ao dai designs in the Vu khuc hat collection by Thuan Viet

The famous Vietnamese fashion designer Thuan Viet has flown to Osaka in Japan to promote his latest Ao dai (Vietnamese traditional long tunic) collections from May 2-6.

Sponsored by Vietnam Airlines and Elite Vietnam Company, the display of the three collections – Hon ngoc vien dong (The Pearl of the Far East), Hon Viet (Vietnamese Spirit), and Vu khuc hat (The Song of Beads) – is a part of the Vietnamese tourism campaign in Japan.

There will be a fashion show and various exhibitions.

The long dresses, which are known internationally for featuring womanly curves, are made of silk, velvet, and lace and decorated with embroidery and crystal beads.

Thuan Viet says, “I believe that my ao dai express some of our national culture. The dresses are not only rich in tradition but also in the modern values of charm and beauty.”

Reported by Da Ly