Reuters has picked the portrait of a 92-year-old Vietnamese man with hair five meters long as one of 2020’s oddest moments.
In the photograph chosen as one of 55 odd ones of the year, Nguyen Van Chien of the southern Tien Giang Province sits with his five-meters long hair, which he says has not been cut for almost 80 years.
Chien had told VnExpress that he believed his hair belongs to his parents and grows it to show his gratitude to them.
Nguyen Van Chien, 92, shows off his five-meter-long hair at his home in southern Tien Giang Province. Photo by Reuters/Yen Duong.
He also said: “I believe if I cut my hair I will die.” Chien follows the Tu An Hieu Nghia (Way of Four Debts of Gratitude) faith, a Vietnamese folk religion popular in the Mekong Delta.
He wraps his hair with two fabric caps and washes it once a week with the support of his daughter and son.
Chien’s fifth son, Luom, 62, helps him manage his giant locks. He too believes in the connection between hair and mortality. Luom says he has seen a man die after trying to re-attach his hair with string.
“These things look simple but they are sacred,” Reuters quoted Luom as saying.
The list of odd photos includes many shots of people adapting to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Canadian participating in an outdoor yoga class with a crystal clear dome to facilitate social distancing, newborns wearing protective face shields in Thailand and a seagull carrying a discarded face mask in the U.K.