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The Ao Dais

The Ao Dais is perhaps the finest garment created by mankind since the advent of the coconut bikini.

I love Chinese cheongsams, Indian sari, and Japanese kimono.
I have a soft spot for Malaysian kebaya, Indonesian sarong, and the grass skirts of the South Seas.
Ditto for mini skirts, tights jeans, and summer dresses.

But I hold a special place for the Vietnamese Ao Dais (which translates to 'long gown'). 
As they say in Vietnam, it covers everything, while hiding nothing.

The Ao Dais clings.
It flows, it grabs, it flutters.
Watching a woman move in an Ao Dais is like seeing a river get up and walk.

The Ao Dais is made of silk, and said to be very comfortable. It looks good on almost anyone; young or old, big or small (don't get any ideas, guys, it's just for women). It comes in a multitude of patterns and colors. And it's not terribly expensive.

If you love the Ao Dais like I do, you'll want to learn how to pronounce its' name.
First is Ao. This seems simple enough. 'Ow' would be a decent approximation, anywhere except Vietnam.

In Vietnam, you see, language is a roller coaster, and words are the tracks. Mouths, tongues, and nasal passages are taken for a ride with every phrase or sentence.
To properly pronounce 'Ao' you will have to imitate a cat in heat. It's a word in which the tone rises, like a question; 'Ow?', with a high, nasally pitch.

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'Dais', contrary to appearances, has no 'd' sound, and no 's' sound.
It's pronounced Eeyie (rhymes with 'e-sky').
Start with the 'ee' sound picking up about where the 'Ao' left off, pitch wise. Then dip on the 'yie' momentarily, before rising again.

Of course, depending on where you are in Vietnam, my directions could be totally wrong. I accept no responsibility or liability.

The good news is that the Vietnamese love to hear you attempt to pronounce the word. Anytime I couldn't think of anything else to say, I would point at a girl in an long dress, and say, "The Ao Dais is a beautiful dress".
The person would laugh and then try to teach me how to say Ao Dais correctly. If they were enjoying my struggles too much, I would turn the table and teach them to say my name.
Hughes is a very difficult word for Vietnamese to pronounce. We would stand there, parroting each other and giggling.

So, unlike most clothing, which comes between people, the Ao Dais has a tendency to bring people together.
What could be better than that?