by Phuong Mai
Believe it or not
With his bare hands, 40-year-old Ly Bang can throw a 5cm-long needle through 3-5mm thick glass.
No. This is not a scene from a Chinese action movie, but an action that Bang can perform thanks to his kung fu skills.
Bang, whose real name is Nguyen Cong Bang, was born in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tien Giang. Even as a child, he was interested in martial arts and circus performances.
At the age of nine, he began to learn Shaolin kung fu. He also practised circus performances by himself, and then used kung fu techniques to create new stunts.
Bang said it took him five years and more to perfect a 5-7 minute performance.
In 2005, Bang began to think of throwing a needle through a glass. When practising, he put a balloon behind the glass and threw the needle so that it went through the glass and broke the balloon.
He has performed this feat more than 20 times in the country and abroad, earning him a national record last month at an annual event organised by Vietbooks. A total of 33 new Vietnamese records and 10 Asian records were recognised at the event.
Throwing the needle through glass is only one of Bang's stunts. He can also bend a 40cm long steel bar on his head.
Till death do us part
After two months of waiting that seemed like forever, Ha Van Toi and his love, Bui Thi Vinh, obtained a marriage certificate from the Phu Phung Commune's People's Committee on June 4.
The 91-year-old couple, residents of Ben Tre Province's Cho Lach District, got blessings for the union from their families who were initially opposed to the marriage. Vinh's children were afraid that she was senile and that her decision was not a wise one.
But Vinh, whose first husband died more than 40 years ago, looks much younger than her age, and is a smart and healthy woman.
She said she was thankful to local authorities who helped persuade her children and grandchildren to accept the union.
"They now know their parents want a companion who will always be by each other's side in their old age."
A few days before getting a certificate, the couple went to the church to celebrate their wedding ceremony. Now, every day, they get up early to go to church and then the market, with all the happiness of a newly wed couple.
Vinh no longer cries after waking up because she "feels lonely". — VNS