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Visually-impaired models join Ao Dai Festival 2023

The Saigon Times

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The HCMC Ao Dai Festival 2023 was launched on March 3 with the participation of local officials, famous models, artists and beauty queens, especially visually-impaired students from Nguyen Dinh Chieu School.

At the festival’s opening ceremony on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, the audience witnessed the beauty of over 300 ao dai outfits from 24 fashion designers.

The performers comprised 100 actors and actresses, singers, models, visually-impaired students and fashion designers with their families. 

Model Nguyen Thi Hong Loi told the local news site tienphong.vn, “I am proud to be a part of the Ao Dai Festival for the first time and feel grateful for the chance to spread the beauty of Vietnamese ao dai to the audiences.”

The HCMC Ao Dai Festival 2023 will last until the end of March with various activities, including ao dai performances on Nguyen Hue Street, Quan Ho, Vi Dam, Don Ca Tai Tu (traditional songs in the three regions), and the panel discussion, “Vietnamese Ao Dai Beauty-Preservation and Development”.

A 29-yr-old girl saves lives through organ donation

The family of 29-year-old N.T.L.T. in Hanoi donated her heart, kidney, and two corneas to the Vietnam-Germany Friendship Hospital to save multiple lives after she had a road accident and suffered brain death. 

The doctors used her organs to successfully perform a heart-kidney transplant for a 37-year-old Central Highlands patient who suffered from dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, severe arrhythmias, and end-stage kidney failure. 

Talking with vietnamplus.vn, her father choked up, “My daughter in heaven will feel delighted to donate her organs to save lives, and her little kid will be proud of her.” 

Previously, T.’s brother passed away after years of waiting for his heart transplant as he suffered congenital dilated cardiomyopathy. After an accident on February 9, T. was diagnosed with severe traumatic brain injury, subarachnoid hemorrhage, Glasgow coma III and grade III left kidney injury. 

T’s family agreed to donate their daughter’s organs as they could not hold on to her life.

Clothing store in HCMC offers ao dai for free

Nguyet, a tailor with 20 years of work experience, opened a free ao dai store on Dang Van Bi Street, Truong Tho Ward, Thu Duc City, with her younger sister to fulfill the dreams of numerous girls and women. 

“My desire is for all Vietnamese women, regardless of who they are or their situations, to have a chance to wear an ao dai,” Nguyet told vnexpress.net. It took her one year to ask her familiar customers, friends and relatives for their old ao dai. 

“Over 80% of ao dai outfits in the store are from my family. We just keep one or two sets for ourselves for necessary occasions,” she said. 

After a year of opening, her store sent more than 5,000 sets of ao dai to needy people for free. She recalled a lady in her 60s who broke into tears on receiving her first ao dai.

The first Vietnamese pagoda in Sri Lanka

After completing the bachelor’s degree in Buddhist studies at the Sri Lanka International Buddhist Academy (SIBA Campus) and the master’s degree in the same subject at the University of Kelaniya, both in Sri Lanka, monk Thich Phap Quang began to build Truc Lam Yen Monastery in 2020 in Ambakote, a small village about 15km from the ancient city of Kandy in central Sri Lanka.

In 2021, the construction of the sanctum and the meditation hall were finished, monk Thich Phap Quang, the abbot of the Buddhist monastery, and five other Vietnamese monks began to live and work in the pagoda.

Other works such as the main gate, fences, bedrooms and a dining room continued to be built step by step. 

Many local villagers visit the pagoda at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and there are more visitors on Sundays.

Over the past year, the monks have taught Vietnamese language to interested locals from Monday to Friday; they have also taught English language on Saturday and IT on Sunday. 

The Vietnamese language classes attract local children, adults and even old people. The abbot told thanhnien.vn that the local students can now greet each other and introduce themselves in Vietnamese. 

They can write down what they speak and can sing several Vietnamese songs, including the national anthem.

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