Officials of the Department of Culture and Sports in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue have started wearing the traditional Vietnamese gown ‘ao dai’ to work on the first Monday of each month as a way to promote and preserve cultural values.

The practice began on Monday, September 7.

Phan Thanh Hai, director of the provincial culture department, compared his staff’s donning ‘ao dai’ on the first Monday of each month with their colleagues in military or public security sectors wearing their uniforms.

“Many countries around the world have encouraged people to wear traditional costumes to work such as Malaysia or Indonesia,” Hai said.

In addition to the first Monday of each month, the officials at Hai’s department will don ‘ao dai’ on other special occasions as well.

Only office workers at the Thua Thien-Hue culture department are asked to practice wearing ‘ao dai’ to work, while staff working outdoors, such as drivers, are exempted.

Many beautiful pictures of the cultural staff wearing traditional ‘ao dai’ at work and at relic sites have been published in local newspapers and on social networks.

The Thua Thien-Hue Department of Culture and Sports is currently in charge of researching and implementing a project to promote Hue City — the provincial capital — as “the ‘ao dai’ capital of Vietnam.”

Currently, the department is actively implementing several activities to prepare for an Ao Dai Festival, which is expected to be carried out after Vietnam successfully controls the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previously, the provincial People’s Committee also encouraged female office workers across the province to wear ‘ao dai’ to work every Monday.

Hue City, the province’s renowned tourist capital, offers women wearing ‘ao dai’ free entrance to relic sites on October 20 every year in observation of the Vietnamese Women’s Day.

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