New Zealand Prime Minister: Barong scratchy, 'quite starched'


Posted at Nov 14 2017 09:35 AM | Updated as of Nov 14 2017 09:46 AM

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, wearing a barong, poses with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his partner Honeylet Avancena during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit gala dinner in Manila, Sunday. Jonathan Ernst, Reuters

MANILA - New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has quite an opinion about the Filipino barong.

In a press conference, the 37-year-old Ardern showed off her ivory-colored barong, describing it as scratchy and "quite starched," as shown in a video published Tuesday by Newshub, a New Zealand-based media outlet. 

Ardern and other world leaders donned the Philippine's national garment on Monday for the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gala dinner in Manila, Sunday. 

Asked by reporters to describe what the pineapple shirt smelled like, the prime minister said: "I'm not going to sniff the shirt on camera." 

New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters meanwhile was asked if he also received a barong. "If I did, I'd regard it as being personal," he replied. 

New Zealand has been a partner dialogue of the 10-member ASEAN since 1975.