Vietnam’s traditional iconic hat Non La

Among Vietnam’s symbols, bamboo trees represent Vietnamese people’s solidarity; the lotus flower is for our timeless beauty; and the iconic hat, Non la , is the image that reminds people of Vietnamese women’s elegance.

Charming young ladies wearing traditional dress ‘Ao dai’ and the iconic hat walking gracefully along the streets might leave you a strong impression of gracefulness and romance. Made with traditional and common materials, The Non la is characterized by its simplicity and beauty at the same time. The decoration of these hats varies from region to region.

Originating from Hue, one of the most romantic cities in Central region of Vietnam, the most well-known design is called “Non Bai tho” (poetical hat). This is also the birthplace of many poets who had been inspired by the beauty of the city and the elegance of people here. Nostalgic poems or images of Hue’s symbol are inserted between two layers of leaves, which the maker then stitches together. The hidden content will be revealed when held against the sunlight, sending the love letter or message in a sweet and subtle way.

There’s an easier way to make the Non La more attractive is to stick paper handmade flowers inside. Traditional countryside symbols, rice fields or bamboo hedges commonly comprise the decorations of hats widely used in other regions. Iconic hat makers also embroider popular landscapes or traditional pictures to make Non la more beautiful and also spread the landscape image.

Today, the Non la is still commonly used not only among adults but also young people across the county, symbolizing Vietnam charm, elegance and tradition.