More than 80 students from Namiki High School in Japan visited the Ao Dai Museum in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, immersing themselves in a cultural exchange and learning experience as part of a collaborative study tour jointly operated by Vietnam and Japan.
Upon entering the museum, the Japanese visitors were greeted by the resonant beats of lion drums and cymbals performed by a lion and dragon team.
Subsequently, they were organized into three groups, rotating through sessions to explore ‘ao dai’ (traditional Vietnamese long gown), traditional music, and traditional martial arts based on their prior registrations.
The plan for the Tuesday morning visit had been coordinated several months in advance, according to Huynh Ngoc Van, director of the Ao Dai Museum.
“After the [COVID-19] pandemic, the tourism industry needs innovations, one of which I hope for is to introduce our country’s cultural heritage to international tourists, offering them not just entertainment but also educational experiences,” Van said.
“The group of Japanese students visiting the museum had specific and well-defined learning objectives.
“The school, because of its professionalism and thoroughness in preparation, meticulously calculated details such as the number of musical instruments in the music section and the duration of each presentation.”
|Students of Namiki High School listen to a presentation on the history of ‘ao dai’ during their visit to the Ao Dai Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, November 21, 2023. Photo: Thai Thai / Tuoi Tre
Due to the museum’s limited staff, the tour received assistance from students of the tourism department at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Culture, offering them a valuable opportunity to practice as tour guides and contribute to sharing their national culture with the foreign tourists.
Yuki, a 17-year-old Namiki student, expressed her excitement while donning a traditional Vietnamese costume for the first time.
In her impressions, the Vietnamese ‘ao dai’ is exceptionally stylish, alluringly accentuating a woman’s curves with subtlety and grace.
Comparing it favorably to traditional Japanese garment kimono, Yuki found ‘ao dai’ easy to wear.
|Students of Namiki High School practice a few moves and positions of traditional Vietnamese martial arts during their visit to the Ao Dai Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, November 21, 2023. Photo: Thai Thai / Tuoi Tre
Although aware of shops in Japan selling ‘ao dai,’ she confessed to never having visited one before.
Tuesday’s experience has inspired her to include a set of ‘ao dai’ in her wardrobe.
Following their visit to the Ao Dai Museum, the Japanese students are poised to further explore Vietnamese culture through culinary experiences and various activities, including fruit harvesting in Tan Trieu grapefruit village in neighboring Dong Nai Province and tours of Angels Orphanage in Thu Duc City, Cu Chi Tunnels in Cu Chi District, Reunification Palace in District 1, and the War Remnants Museum in District 3.
The study tour is slated to conclude on Thursday.