A male teacher in Nghe An Province, north-central Vietnam has been the talk of the town after donning a female ao dai (traditional Vietnamese long gown) in front of his students as a way to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8).
Photos of Ho Phan Ngoc, a 12th-grade homeroom teacher at Quynh Luu 4 High School in Nghe An, giving lessons in a floral ao dai and non la (Vietnamese conical hat) that are usually worn by Vietnamese women to accentuate their grace went viral on social media on Monday.
The photos received mixed comments as a number of Internet users said that it is inappropriate for male teachers to wear female ao dai.
Those people suggested wearing male ao dai as a more suitable way for a man to commemorate International Women’s Day.
Meanwhile, others praised Ngoc for his enthusiasm.
“The photos of him in ao dai and non la are precious as he did that for his students,” an Internet user named Hoai Phuong commented.
“The teacher looked very fresh and posed gracefully in every photo even though shyness could be seen in his eyes.”
In response to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s request, Chu Van Cuong, Quynh Luu 4 High School’s labor union president, explained that Ngoc wore female ao dai as part of his participation in the school’s activity to celebrate women throughout March.
In the activity, every class photographed moments of their female teachers at school.
As Ngoc’s class was so late to ask for a female teacher to join the event that none remained available then, the male teacher became the muse for his students.
“Mr. Ngoc is very cheerful, sociable, enthusiastic, and loved by many teachers and students,” Cuong said.
Ngoc is among 54 teachers and staff members at Quynh Luu 4 High School, Cuong added.
He has been teaching civics at the school for nearly 20 years, during which he has regularly participated in its many activities in addition to his teaching.