Tuesday, 02/11/2021 13:07

Ethnic groups' fashion to hit the catwalk in Malaysia

A model showcasing the fashion of the Cơ Tu ethnic group of Việt Nam. Six traditional outfits from ethnic groups in Việt Nam will be highlighted at the online ‘TENUN Fashion Week 2021' in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia on December 5. Photo courtesy of Kelvin Chan Photography

QUẢNG NAM —  Six traditional outfits of Việt Nam will be displayed at an online fashion week in Kuching, Malaysia on December 5. The outfits, from the Cơ Tu, Giẻ Triêng, Ba Na, Ê Đê and Ca Dong ethnic groups, will be part of a showcase highlighting Việt Nam's traditional weaving at the ‘TENUN Fashion Week 2021'. 

The online fashion event will involve 44 weaving communities from different countries in Southeast Asia, promoting a unique collection of traditional weaving products.

The Japanese non-governmental organisation Foundation for International Development/Relief (FIDR) started the Traditional Weaving Network in the Central Highlands (TWeN), selecting the best collections to join the ASEAN-area fashion event.

The collection from TWeN, as well as other groups from ASEAN countries, will be on TENUN's website and social media sites from November 15-17. The outfits will appear on the fashion catwalk. 

FIDR said it has established TWeN to preserve the cultural values of traditional weaving in the Central Highlands region in 2019. 

Two Cơ Tu women brocade weaving in Bhờ Hhồng village in the central Quảng Nam Province. The tradition has been preserved among ethnic communities with support from NGOs and local authorities. VNS Photo Công Thành 

FIDR is a Japanese NGO that has been working in central Việt Nam for more than 20 years. They aim to tackle poverty and social development among ethnic minority groups.

About 80 local ethnic groups in Việt Nam have been involved in developing 230 brocade products, offering 150 products to the market and earning VNĐ2 billion (US$87,000) over the past four years, a report from FIDR unveiled.

In cooperation with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and local authorities, FIDR has implemented a four-year Project for Rural Development by Local Initiatives of the Ethnic Minority Communities in Nam Giang District, in central Quảng Nam Province.

Dancers perform at a traditional festival in a suburb of Đà Nẵng. Traditional weaving and culture have seen a revival in central Việt Nam. VNS Photo Công Thành 

The project had helped successfully build the ‘Nam Giang Model’ – a base structure for a craft network among ethnic groups in Việt Nam. It has built the brands and marketing systems of local products from Xơ Đăng, Ba Na, Tà Ôi, Cơ Tu and Mạ ethnic groups, in Quảng Nam, Thừa Thiên-Huế, Đà Nẵng, Kon Tum and Đắk Nông provinces.

The Cơ Tu weaving group in Zơ Ra Village, Nam Giang District, was the first weaving co-operative to export products to Australia.

A series of community-based tourism destinations have also been built in Tà Bhing and Tà Lu Communes, and Bhơ Hoong and Dhroong villages in Quảng Nam Province, and Tà Lang Village in Đà Nẵng, to boost the brocade trade. — VNS

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