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Tu Ha An

For years, despite the fact that I treasured Ao Dai so much, I was afraid to wear it.

At the age of 17, I had to leave Vietnam to study in France. Being a foreigner there, I was scared. I feared being left out for coming from another culture, thinking that I would not be accepted. My only desire at that time was to be able to fit in. Therefore, with those thoughts in mind, I made a mistake, trying to eliminate everything that made me stand out.

All of this seems unbelievable, like something out of a tabloid, yet it's exactly what occurred in my situation.

But then I came across Elizabeth Gilbert's book Big Magic, which inspired me to express my creativity as if I were a perpetual artist. It became my inspiration, my awakening, to finally be free of all these prejudices and social norms and be my actual self.

In December 2022, I was given the opportunity to appear on the Le Talk show. With only 5 minutes to convey my message, I chose the one thing I had attempted to overlook for a long time - Ao Dai.

That day, as I stood there giving my speech, I felt... normal. My body was filled with a sense of contentment, and I felt like myself again. I felt integrated enough to accept my distinction. I had fully comprehended what was described in that book by wearing the Ao Dai I treasure, that I had become the artist I had always desired to be.

If this story resonates deeply with your heart, please join us in extending a helping hand to the vulnerable orphans and disabled children in Vietnam through the donation link here .

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