When a group of Vietnamese fans were unsure where to go at Metalist Stadium, a beautiful Vietnamese girl came up and guided them to their seats. She is Mai Phuong, a model in Kharkov.
Among the few volunteers in the VIPzone, dedicated to VIP guests such as heads of states, artists and famous contestants in the stadium, there is Duong Mai Phuong, a Vietnamese girl who is a model in Kharkov.
Although born and raised in Kharkov, Phuong can speak Vietnamese quite fluently. “Since I was a child, my parents had said regardless of what my job or where I am working, I am not allowed to forget my mother tongue,” she said. When she was grown, she fully understood the significance of what her parent said and, thanks to her parents’ determination, she has kept the Vietnamese features and she has been honoured for that.
Mai Phuong is volunteering in the VIPzone with her efforts to promote
the image of Vietnam to VIP guests.
“Volunteers serving Euro 2012 are many, but there are only 12 volunteers across Kharkov chosen to serve in the VIPzone. Initially, each model company in Kharkov recommended only two models. After sending a self-introduction in English to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the models have to get through a short-list about physical appearance.”
“Almost 100 people registered, but only 50 people are chosen in the short-list. Then the organization board of Euro 2012 in Ukraine and representatives of UEFA interview the candidates about their communicative competence, cultural knowledge and foreign language ability. The final list is only 12 people, including me,” Phuong told.
In 2012, a Vietnamese model contest in SNG (Commonwealth of Independent States) was held, and many people in Thoi Dai village, a residential area densely populated with Vietnamese people in Kharkov, encouraged her to participate.
Unable to refuse, she reluctantly submitted an application to participate in the contest. She was surprised to win the prize for the model with the most beautiful coiffure.
Mai Phuong (the first from left) working in VIPzone in Metalist stadium
“I usually hear Vietnamese people saying the teeth and hair are the beauty standard for Vietnamese women, so I have always kept my long black hair like other Vietnamese girls. I am always proud of my Vietnamese features,” she said.
Apart from studying, Mai Phuong is also working as an exclusive model for Kharkov Fashion Days Company. Phuong regards performance tours as a good opportunity for her to introduce the beautiful features of Vietnamese people to Ukrainian friends. However, she has never considered it as an occupation, because she intends to work in Vietnam with her medical and pharmaceutical knowledge.
When taking leave, Phuong said, “I will return to Vietnam to visit my grandparents. “In Vietnam, I like to sit at small street shops to see the traffic passing by, which has still stayed in my mind after more than 10 years. I miss my hometown very much.”