Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Question for the Vietnamese: Part 2?

Note: This picture is not a reflection of the length of the Vietnamese nails. The nails I have seen are around the 5cm mark

Often I see Vietnamese men with one or two exceptionally long and immaculately clean fingernails. Now, I have been told a few conflicting things. Some people have said that this is a way of showing society that they are not workers doing manual labour. Others have said it is a fashion statement. The guy that shaves my head once a fortnight has two finger nails on one of his hands that are about 5 centimetres long. Any girl would be proud of how well they are kept. I have seen other guys with one nail that is impressively long and others with four or five long fingernails.

So, in my quest to understand all things Vietnamese, I want to get to the bottom of why the men do this and why do some only grow one fingernail and others two, three, four or five.

Any thoughts?

You can also join the discussion on another all important Question for the Vietnamese


  1. When I tried it I found that getting earwax and boogers was suddenly very easy. That's my explanation.

  2. The explanation I've mostly heard is that it is proof that one is not engaged in manual labour. But I also think the influence might come from another direction: in parts of Cambodia and Thailand men sometimes painted a nail or wore make up in an efort to trick man-eating ghosts into thinking they were women, thus preserving their masculinity. You still see it occasionally in country towns.
    So maybe a combo, with the real reasons lost in history.
    Whatever the reason, it IS still very common in Vietnam.

  3. According to "The Ancient Civilization of Vietnam" by Nguyễn Văn Huyên, "formerly Vietnamese scholars used to keep their thin finger nails very long and tapered." I agree that its a social statement, though I know most taxi drivers with a long and tapered pinky nail are not exactly scholars. I think its just a cultural trend nowadays, maybe like getting a piercing or something..
    nice post
    Zac Herman
    The West Lake Review-

  4. Great comments guys. Cheers. I like to get to the bottom of the random things I see in Vietnam

  5. hello Dan :D it's so interested to read ur post...not only for my E, but my couriousity too :)
    about ur questions....i think it's simply a hobby of some VNamese nowadays to have long nails without any particular purpose,or if there is,it's just for attracting couriousity of others for their "special"...i think that's all :D
    p/s: make sure u'r going to be Lady GG this Fri =))

  6. Why do you use a photo of a Balinese Guy.
    Why do you use other people's photos without permission?

    1. Why do you suck giant bags full of engorged dicks?