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Khanh Linh

The first ever Ao Dai in my life was when I was 16 years old. Prior to that, I only knew about the presence of Ao Dai, the beauty surrounding it, and the historical and cultural stages that are closely associated with it, but I had never worn one before.

That first Ao Dai was simply designed in preparation for a study trip with my grade’s students to Hue in grade 11. The most memorable thing was that I wore it in the Imperial City of Hue - a place closely associated with the historical events of the country. The modernized Ao Dai with a red background and colorful floral patterns from brocade fabric on both sides of the sleeves, combined with teal blue colored pants. That Ao Dai followed me since I was 16 years old, the most beautiful milestone of my student life, and now I am almost 20 years old - the threshold of transitioning into adulthood.

On the day I packed my luggage to study abroad, for some reason, the Ao Dai was neatly placed in my suitcase to go with me on a new journey to Australia. I had the opportunity to wear the Ao Dai again on the day of the interview for the project, memories, and recollections of my school days suddenly rushed back to that moment, the time spent laughing with friends and the lessons that were always slept in class. In 2023, I am about to turn 20 years old, the transition from carefree teenage years to the step of adulthood makes me realize how time has passed by so quickly.

This Ao Dai is a milestone for my youth, where it holds the happiest memories of my 16-year-old self.


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