Vietnamese city says no to jeans in public offices

By Cuu Long, Vi Vu   September 5, 2017 | 06:54 pm GMT+7
The official behind the ban in Can Tho says his idea had received zero opposition.

Can Tho City in southern Vietnam issued a new code of conduct for civil servants on Tuesday that prohibits them from wearing jeans or T-shirts to work.

The policy applies to both men and women, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

It recommends shirts and trousers instead, while women can also opt for the traditional ao dai.

Several workers have already called the new rule too “rigid”, but the man behind the policy insists he has done his homework.

Nguyen Hoang Ba, director of Can Tho’s Department of Home Affairs, said that jeans are already banned from public offices in Hanoi and Saigon.

Ba said that his department had made the proposal to the city's government after seeking feedback from different localities and receiving no opposition.

“Public workers wearing jeans to the office looks a bit odd,” Ba said, as cited by Tuoi Tre.

The code of conduct also asks workers to be caring, patient, friendly and receptive to citizens.

Vietnam’s government offices have repeatedly been jeered at for their efforts to intervene in personal choices.

There have been various jokes made about a long-standing ban on jeans among civil servants, including a poem which makes it sound like people are banned from wearing pants to work altogether.

Last December, Hanoi announced plans to ban its public workers from having tattoos or wearing “improper” cologne. The capital city received more criticism last February when it threatened to name and shame people who wear skimpy clothes in public places, saying it wanted to become a “civil and polite” destination. Experts warned that it would be difficult, if not illegal, to impose restrictions on how people dress.

Vietnam abolished cash fines for people who wear what it deemed to be indecent clothing in public in 2013.

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