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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
Bad hair day for Vietnamese arts
Mohican hairdo
Hairstyles like these are not in line with Vietnamese "traditional identity"
Vietnam is to bar performing artists with shaved heads or dyed and unkempt hair from appearing on stage.

Regulation 47 bans "hairstyles which inflict horror, painted or dyed hair, shaved heads or long, uncombed hair".

The ban, announced by the ministry of culture last week, also tackles "revealing performance outfits".

The communist country - which censors public performances - says the measure will contribute to Vietnamese traditional identity in the arts.

"The regulation aims at restoring order on the performance stage and makes it in line with the Communist Party's policy of building an advanced culture and art with traditional identities," said Le Nam from the ministry's performance art department.

The Associated Press news agency quoted Le Nam as saying the order was a general rule - provincial cultural agencies would make final decisions on what was acceptable, based on where the event was being held and before which audience.

Tran Van Hay, 67, from Chau Thanh district in the southern Kien Giang province of Vietnam  (22/06/04)
A Vietnamese trying to make it to the Guinness Book of Records
Vietnamese state media have expressed outrage at some famous pop singers for their dyed hair and revealing outfits.

But some artists are nonetheless unhappy with the new directive.

"It is an individual's taste and it should not be banned," said Truong Nhuan, deputy director of a theatre in Ho Chi Minh City, quoted by Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper.

Last month a Vietnamese hairstyle shot into the limelight when it was revealed that a Vietnamese man who had not had a haircut in 31 years hoped to get into the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest hair in the world.

Tran Van Hay, 67, has hair which is now 6.2m (20 feet) long, according to Vietnam's state-controlled press. Mr Tran stopped having haircuts after one made him ill.

Vietnam man hopes for hair record
22 Jun 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Modern Vietnam's break with the past
05 Jan 02 |  From Our Own Correspondent


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