Impatient for their children to grow up or worried that they will become stunted adults, many young Vietnamese mothers take steps to "solve" the situation. A video clip posted recently on a popular website for breast-feeding mothers shocked viewers when the mother tried to force-feed her daughter milk through a large, milk-filled syringe.
According to the mother, the eight-month-old baby now weighs 9.5kg, but she feels this is not enough to guarantee a big healthy adult. While strongly criticised for her rough and unscientific feeding technique, the mother was still showered with sympathy from many mothers similarly obsessed with avoiding under-sized children.
The mothers shared stories about the ways they tried to fatten their babies, including holding infants' noses to keep theirs mouths open so more food can be forced down the throat, or using special tools, including long spoons. Sometimes it takes an hour to feed 150ml of milk.
The mothers admitted that it often hurt them to see the babies cry when being forcibly fed. But they agreed this was better that producing an under-sized child.
Recently, many mothers blindly bought an unknown pill for their babies. It was said to help them gain weight quickly. The practice started among a group of mothers and babies in Hai Phong City when a member advertised a German medicine she said helped babies gain six to seven kilos a month. The woman added that she gave the pills to both her baby and her husband, who was thin.
The mothers who bought the pills, spread the information and started to provide good feedback about the weight of their babies. Then, one day, their world fell part when they learned that the pills were simply anti-inflammation medicine that could cause long-term problems.
It was revealed that the pills kept water inside the body, making people think they or their babies had gained weight. Many weight-gain enthusiasts are now showing regret.
Select your victims carefully
Two students from Hai Phong Maritime College were arrested on Saturday while attempting to sell a Honda's SH motorbike stolen from a local woman five days ago.
Nguyen Duy Thanh and Hoang Gia Phuc, both 21, admitted to police that they used tear gas to spray the face of a woman in Le Chan District last Thursday morning before stealing her motorbike.
The two, who up until then had clean records, said that they stole the bike to pay off a big debt that they were unable to pay. They claim it was the first robbery they had committed.
Unfortunately for them, the woman they stole from was a family member of a local policeman. The theft actually took place in front of his house, only a short walk away from the police station.
Police caught the thieving couple only two days after being told of the incident. Besides being venturesome, it appears that many thieves need lessons in planning and common sense.
Big leap backwards
To deal with shoplifting, a supermarket used a technique to name and shame the culprits, but the measure backfired. Management used a photo of a teenage girl being tied-up in front of a supermarket gate. Around her neck was a placard stating Toi la nguoi an trom (I am the stealer).
The photo spread far and wide on the Internet, causing an enormous amount of controversy. Some people support the idea, saying that without tough measures, crime will continue to flourish.
But many others objected, saying that tying up thieves and putting them on display harks back to ancient times and violates today laws and regulations as well as human rights. Some people spent much time trying to track down where the information came from.
They are worried that there could be a push to return to primitive punishment methods of an earlier age. — VNS