In a campaign to promote HIV awareness, a group of Chinese women activists who have hair up to 3.5 metres long, are touring across China in what’s been deemed the world’s only long-haired ‘act.’
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The troupe of eight middle-aged women, who have been growing their hair for over 20 years have let their hair down to show their cascading locks that could give Rapunzel a run for her money.
To help cast the spotlight on an event promoting awareness of HIV, the group, whose name translates to ‘showing long hair across thousands of kilometres,’ have visited Jining, East Chinas Shandong Province.
This group of women activists hail from Beijing, Shandong, Hubei, Guangxi, Shanxi, Henan, and Jilin. They admit it is a hassle to maintain their lengthy locks, but say their aim is to promote traditional beauty to the world.
Showing off these cascading, lustrous locks is definitely proof of the saying that the beauty of a woman lies in her hair. Just like the real life Russian Rapunzel, Dashik Gubanova Freckle who has also been growing her hair for the past 13 years and has not been to the salon.
Growing extremely long hair is an ancient tradition in several ethnic Chinese minorities, including the Yao people of Huangluo Yao Village. Long black hair is a sign of health and prosperity among the tribes, where women only wash their hair once every month.
AIDS is a controversial topic in China, with sufferers shunned by their communities, and even their families, over an irrational fear of being infected.
The phenomenon has been put down to a lack of education about the illness, and especially how it is contracted and spread. The event in Jining sought to raise public awareness.