Malaysian celebrity apologizes for Vietnamese dress faux pas in Hoi An

By Nguyen Chi   April 6, 2022 | 10:35 pm PT
Malaysian celebrity apologizes for Vietnamese dress faux pas in Hoi An
A photo shows Malaysian model Siew Pui Yi in ao dai in Hoi An. Photo courtesy of MS PUIYI Facebook page
A Malaysian model who triggered public outcry for donning an ao dai without its trousers in Hoi An has apologized to Vietnamese netizens for disrespecting their culture.

Siew Pui Yi on Wednesday apologized to Vietnamese online users for donning an ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress) without the long-flared bottoms in Hoi An last week.

"During my recent travels to Vietnam, there was a posting of mine that truly upset the people, and I deeply and sincerely apologize for my actions/content and the disrespect to the traditional culture of Vietnam, which I have now taken down," she wrote on her Facebook account MS PUIYI.

"I absolutely loved my travels. I do hope to have another opportunity to return to Vietnam and of course, take a different approach to shooting my content. I apologize once again and will be more sensitive to local cultures all over the world."

Last week, Siew flew to Da Nang from Singapore and stayed at a resort near Ha My Beach in Hoi An.

On April 4, she posted two photos of her wearing an ao dai without its trousers while releasing lanterns onto the Hoai River, and the post quickly went viral. Many Vietnamese netizens decried it as "immodest" and "disrespectful" while asking the Facebook account owner to remove the images.

Siew Pui Yi is an internet celebrity from Malaysia. Her Facebook has over 615,000 followers and her Instagram, over 17.3 million.

This was not the first time foreign celebrities had triggered public outcry in Vietnam for wearing traditional Vietnamese dress with cultural faux pas.

In 2019, Vietnamese netizens also expressed anger over American singer Kacey Musgraves wearing ao dai without its long trousers to perform in front of thousands of fans at a concert in Dallas.

The ao dai has for long been an icon of Vietnamese culture, praised for highlighting the graceful beauty of Vietnamese women.

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