The clothing of the Khmer in southern Viet Nam is unlike the costumes of other ethnic groups.
Khmer costumes exhibit many patterns and colors. Children, adults, and old people wear traditional clothes with features typical for each age group.
At festivals, young girls wearing traditional dress look more charming in each dance movement.
Young Khmer boys playing musical instruments look more elegant and powerful in their traditional costumes.
Pham Minh Hoang, a guide at the Viet Nam Museum of Ethnology, said, “At important events, women wear costumes called Sampot Hol or Sampot Chang, which are made from silk or cotton in bright red, purple, and yellow.”
“In daily life, they wear clothes similar to those worn by the Kinh people – black or brown pants and white shirts. Men wear a sarong and blouse when they go out and often prefer to go shirtless at home,” he added.
The Sampot Chang Kben of the Khmer women is more like a pair of pants than a skirt. It is a rectangular piece of cloth 3 meters long and one meter wide.
It is worn by wrapping it around the waist, stretching it away from the body, twisting the ends together, then pulling the twisted fabric between the legs and tucking it in the back of the waist. At weddings, Khmer people wear their most beautiful costumes.
Hoang added, “The bride wears a red, violet, or lotus pink Sampot Hol dress and a short, closefitting top. She wears a tower-shaped hat decorated with sparkling beads or embroidered flowers.”
“The gloom wears a red Hol dress and long sleeved blouse. He ties a white scarf across his body and wears a knife on his belt as a symbol of protection for the bride,” he shared.
The bride ties a golden silk Sbay scarf from her shoulder to her hip. Khmer women, no matter how difficult their life, must have beautiful clothes for their family members and themselves on important occasions.
Their daily clothing has dark colors suitable for farm work. The Khmer are famous for Tkat and Batik dying techniques which produce shiny black silk and cotton fabrics.