Every country has their own hat styles, in the United States the baseball cap, in England the London bobby's helmet, in Greece the fisherman's hat, in France the beret and so on. In Vietnam, the conical pleasant hat, or non la, serves as a very important tool used by everyone. The non la, translates "leaf hat," because it is made out of leaves and is also very light and thin. The non la is used by villagers for protection from the sun, and it is also used as a fan in the hot and dry weather. The non la is also a symbol of beauty because it shows the very poor, simple life of a Vietnamese farmer.
The non la dates back to the earliest civilizations thousands of years ago. It was used in the rice fields by farmers because Vietnam is very hot almost year-round. In Vietnam, the farmers of rice and other vegetables usually do it by hand.
They would go in the scorching hot sun and plant these plants by hand; this could be very dangerous because they could get sun burned. The non la would be used to protect them, covering most of the sun rays from their head.
The non la symbolizes the Vietnamese beauty. The hat is used usually by the women from the fields working on the rice patty to doing plays at a theater. When used by the women, the size makes the girls look attractive because they're mysteriously hidden; only her shy cheeks and long hair beneath the rims of the non la are seen. The women would ride their bike wearing the ao dai, a long flowing dress worn over loose-fitting trouser, and also a national dress of the women. It is a lasting impression for everyone visiting...