Vietnam Festival Is Dedicated to Meeting Ex-Lovers

Most people cannot stand the thought of their partners even talking to their exes, let alone socializing with them. But things are different in a small community of Vietnam. A yearly ‘love market’ of sorts is held in the hillside village of Khau Vai, 500km north of Hanoi, near the border with China. It takes place each year, on the 26th and the 27th of the third month of the lunar calendar. During these two days, hundreds of ex-lovers from various hill tribes like Nung, Tay, San Chi, Lo Lo, Dzao, Giay and Hmong are reunited. They trek in from various mountainous districts nearby to be able to spend two days with the ones they could not spend their lives with.

This concept might sound extremely unusual to us, and there might be every possibility of a cat-fight breaking out if this unique love festival was held anywhere else in the world. But the people of Khau Vai have a strong reason for the celebrating their love market. It has been a part of their tradition for centuries, originating from a local legend. The story is rather sad – an ethnic Giay girl from Ha Giang had fallen for a Nung boy from Cao Bang., but she is said to have been so beautiful that her tribe did not want her to marry a man from another community. What followed was a bloody war between the two tribes. As the lovers witnessed the tragedy that surrounded their lives, they decided to part ways in the greater interest of peace. But their love did not die there. A secret pact was made between the lovers to meet each other once a year in Khau Vai– on the 27th day of the third Lunar month. The tradition is still being carried on today. On the designated days of the festival, local artists decked up in colorful clothes reenact this tale of forbidden love.

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Vietnamese Man Shows Off Car Made Almost Entirely Out of Wood

It’s not the world’s first wooden car, but it is the first of its kind in Vietnam. Featuring a body made exclusively from high-quality wood and decorated with intricate carvings, the Achilles has been turning heads on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

The one-of-a-kind vehicle was created by Le Nguyen Khang, owner of Binh Duong-based wood processing firm Le Lumber. He told reporters the idea of building a wooden car started off as a joke, while he was talking to an English friend who works in the travel business. One day, he jokingly asked Khang, “Working in the wood processing industry, can you make me a wooden car?”. Little did he know the silly question would plant a seed in Le Nguyen’s brain, who started thinking seriously about making a car from wood. After all, he had all the materials he needed, and could count on the help of several professional woodworkers from his company. The sketch for his unusual automobile was completed in April of 2011, and with the help of 11 of his best employees, he worked on it for 16 months. The Achilles was finally completed last month, and as soon as he started driving it around the city, people assaulted him with all kinds of questions and requests to have their pictures taken with it.

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85-Year-Old Vietnamese Man Hasn’t Cut His Hair in 70 Years

85-year-old Nguyen Van Chien, from Vietnam’s southern province of Tien Giang, hasn’t had a haircut since he was in the 12th grade, 70 years ago. As a result, his hair now 4-meters-long and weight 2 kilograms.

Even as a young boy, Nguyen Van Chien liked to let his hair grow long. He would braided it into a bun on top of his head to keep it from interfering with his daily activities, but one day, while he was in the 12th grade, his teachers advised him to cut his hair. He took their advice, but as soon as he got a haircut, he started experiencing a strange pain that not even painkillers could make go away. Before he cut his hair the man had had no health problems, not even a common flu, so he decided to let his hair grow, and never cut it again. It’s been 70 years since he made the decision, and now his “dragon tail”, as he calls his hair measured around 4 meters long and weighs over 2 kilograms.

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Y Lan – The Lady Playing with Sand

Y Lan, real name Tran Thi Hoang Lan, is a famous Vietnamese artist who uses multicolored sand to create beautiful paintings. Her works are famous all over Asia, as well as in Europe and North America.

Y Lan has no formal arts training and discovered her unique talent for making sand paintings purely by mistake. In 2001, while visiting her husband’s home town in Phan Thiet she saw the coastal sands in the area and was mesmerized by their beauty and took three differently-colored varieties in a transparent flower vase. After she came home she was just obsessed with the exotic beauty of the sands, so she went back and took more sand samples of different colors. Then she started thinking about what to do with this wonderful colored sand she had gathered, and the idea for her grainy sand paintings was born. Now, Y Lan is internationally recognized as the inventor of sand painting and has established her own company selling these masterpieces all around the globe.

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Real-Life Mutant Girl Causes Things around Her to Catch on Fire

A yet unnamed 11-year-old girl from Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City has been making headlines in Asia, for her alleged uncontrollable power to set things around her on fire.

According to Vietnamese website Ngoisao, on May 12, a young girl living in the Tan Binh district of Ho Chi Minh has burned down almost the entire third floor of her family’s home. Her father says the child did not have access to any fire-inducing objects, and that the fire was caused by the super-energy in her body. How many times have we heard that one before, right? But while that may sound like the exaggerations of a parent looking for media attention, this is apparently not the first time this Vietnamese girl has caused things to burst into fire just by going near them.

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Students Claim Haunted Toilet is Causing Them to Faint and Scream

Kids love exchanging horror stories at school, even if it means weeks of sleepless nights. But what if a real ghost decides to make a guest appearance? It could cause kids to lose not just sleep but even their sanity. In Vietnam, it’s causing them to faint on a regular basis.

The students of Son Hoa Ethnic Boarding High School in the Son Hoa District claim to have had supernatural visitors in the bathroom at night, causing many of them lose consciousness. It all started with K Pa Ho Luon, a student of the school. He returned to his dorm one night  in November, from the toilet area, in a state of hysteria. He was talking gibberish, fell to the floor and began to scratch the walls and the floor. All this, just before he passed out. Luon was then rushed to the hospital by school authorities. When he recovered, he claimed to have met a ghost in the toilet.

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Young Vietnamese Woman Mysteriously Ages Overnight

Nguyen Thi Phuong is only 26, but judging by her wrinkled and saggy skin, you could easily mistake her for a 70-year-old.

The young woman from Vietnam suffered an allergic reaction in 2008, and after taking some prescribed medication  the skin her face, hands and body started to wrinkle and become saggy, giving her the appearance of an old lady. It all started after Thi Phuong ate some seafood. It gave her such a bad rash that she used to scratch even in her sleep, so to alleviate the symptoms, her husband, Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, bought her some medication. It didn’t work, so she visited a local doctor who prescribed pills for dermatitis, which only made things worse, causing her face to swell up and hives to erupt all over her skin. She stopped taking them after a week and put her hopes in some Chinese practitioners in her town, in the Giong Trom district of Vietnam’s Ben Tre province. They cured her itching and hives, but her skin was becoming saggy.

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Vietnamese Man Still Sleeps with His Dead Wife

Le Van, the man who made headlines two years ago after it was discovered he had been sleeping with his dead wife for five years, has confirmed he is still sleeping with his beloved, and authorities can’t do anything to stop him.

The story about Le Van’s bizarre sleeping habit broke out at the end of 2009. Vietnamese papers posted photos of a man sleeping with a human-shaped gypsum statue that contained the body of his dead wife. we covered the story and you can read about it here, but long story short, the man couldn’t cope with the loss of his soul mate so he dug up her remains, put them inside the statue and continued sharing a bed with her. It was one of the strangest news of 2009, but I was sure that once word got out, local authorities would somehow convince Le Van to bury the remains of his beloved wife. I was wrong. Read More »

Vietnamese Artist Turns Recycled Timber into Intricate Mosaics

Nguyen Van Vien is a talented artist who collects all kinds of discarded piece of timber and uses them to create incredibly beautiful wooden mosaics.

The Vietnamese village of Khuc Toai has long been famous for its traditional carpentry, but a local artist is taking things to a whole new level with his original painting-like mosaics made from various types of recycled wood. Born in 1957, Nguyen Van Vien has always had a passion for the arts, and at age 19 he left his home village to study at the Indochina College of Fine Arts, in Hanoi. But it was a very difficult period for the Vietnamese, so after just two years of school, he had to return home and support his family. He turned to traditional carpentry, which barely earned him enough to put food on the table, but everything was about to change for the better.

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Vietnam’s Ceramic Road Sets New World Record

Stretching 3.95 kilometers, along Hanoi’s Red River, Ceramic Road has been declared the world’s longest ceramic mural, by the Guinness Book of Records.

Ceramic Road was a massive art project, initiated by artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, out of love and passion for Hanoi, and as a special way to celebrate the city’s 1000th anniversary. She first got the idea for a record-breaking ceramic mural in 2003, when she discovered ancient bricks and ceramics from the Ly dynasty, and other artifacts from the Tran dynasty, at an archeological site. She thought about the long history pf these findings, and decided a mural would best reflect the patterns of Vietnamese history.

Nguyen Thu Thuy reached out to fellow Vietnamese, as well as international artists for help in realizing her dream, and mural masters from all around the world started coming to Hanoi, to leave their mark on Ceramic Road. Some created contemporary design patterns, others used Vietnam’s history as inspiration, and even recreated famous paintings out of ceramic tiles. Nearly 100 artists, from countries like Mexico, Brazil, France, Denmark and many others participated in the creation of Ceramic Road.

The whole thing was completed on September 25, and on October 5, a representative of the Guinness Book of Records inspected Ceramic Road and acknowledged it as the longest mural in the world, spanning over 7,000 square meters. A window into Vietnam’s fascinating history, and an unbelievable artwork, Ceramic Road is set to become one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions.

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Human Magnet Contest Held in Vietnam

I’m sure you have at least one friend that claims he is a spring of magnetic energy, just because he can balance a spoon on the tip of his nose, but in Vietnam,this kind of phenomenon is taken seriously.

Yesterday, during a ceremony to celebrate 12 years since the inauguration of the Vietnamese department for the research and study of energy, human magnets from all over Vietnam gathered in Hanoi, to show off their skills. Men and women covered with spoons, forks, dinner plates and metal weights walked around proudly, displaying their powers.

The most impressive of them all was Ta Quang Thanh, who managed to keep a 42 kilogram stone slab, stuck to his body, thus breaking all national records.

via Channel 14

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Man Sleeps with Dead Wife for Five Years

They say love knows no boundaries, but this is taking it a little too far. A Vietnamese man has been sleeping next to his wife’s corpse for the last five years.

Le Van, a 55-year-old man from Quang Nam province, Vietnam, lost his wife in 2003. Because he couldn’t go to sleep at night without hugging his beloved spouse, he slept on top of her grave for about 20 months. When he couldn’t stand the rain and wind anymore, he decided to dig a tunnel into the grave, so he could sleep with his wife.

When the kids heard his crazy plan, they did everything they could to stop him, so Le Van had to think of another way he could cuddle up to his wife at night. In 2004 he unearthed her remains, wrapped them in pieces of paper and a clay mould and put a dummy mask on her face. The man has been sleeping next to his dead wife ever since. Read More »

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