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‘Robinson’ Revisited!

A father had fled to the jungle with his two children in order to save their lives during the Vietnam War in 1972. Since then, Ho Van Lang has not come out of the jungle. As he spent 41 years in the jungle, he had no idea about the modern world. Lang did not have the biological needs of human life due to his ignorance about human civilisation. The 49-year-old Lang had even no idea that women exist, as he wasn’t even ever told about women, or what sex was.

The Vietnamese authorities had rescued Lang in 2013 and brought him to a village. Since then, Lang has gradually become acquainted with normal human life. After so many years, he has been able to adapt the human civilisation. The concerned authorities have revealed Lang’s story very recently.

Ho Van Lang

The Vietnam War had claimed the lives of Lang’s mother and one of his siblings. His father, Ho Van Thanh (now 85), along with his two sons, had taken shelter in a jungle. The three had to depend on hunting and gathering to meet their appetite. They even consumed bats and rats. Building tree houses, fashioning tools out of discarded war bombs and catching a bat quicker than anyone else, Lang had spent more than four decades, living like a slave in isolation in the jungle. And now, he has been forced to re-enter civilisation, despite his love affair with the wilderness.

During their exile, his father had never said a single word about sex or women to Lang. Lang also never had any sexual desire! When an attempt was made to rescue Lang’s father, he refused to leave the jungle. He used to believe that the Vietnam War was still going on! Alvaro Cerezo, who tracked Lang and his family down in November 2015, claimed that Lang’s father suffers from a “profound phobia of returning (to civilisation) as he did not believe that the Vietnam War was over“. “They always escaped when they saw people from a distance,” he added.

Lang (R) with his father

Cerezo told the press: “I can confirm that Lang has never had the minimum sexual desire and his reproductive instinct has never shown its head in any of its many facets.” Meanwhile, Lang’s brother, Tri, described the former as a “baby in a man’s body“, saying: “Lang doesn’t understand many basic social concepts. He has spent his whole life in the jungle. So, his brain is just like a baby.

Tri stressed: “If I asked Lang to beat someone, he would do it severely. He doesn’t know the difference between Good and Bad. Lang is just a child. He doesn’t know anything. Most people know what is Good or Bad in life, but my brother doesn’t. If I asked Lang to stab someone with a knife, he would do it without thinking and that person could die.” However, Cerez believes that Lang, despite his intellectual inability, is one of the most peaceful people he’s met. “Lang was probably the most adorable human I have ever met in my life, he just doesn’t know what is good or bad,” he insisted.

Lang’s jungle tools were fashioned out of bombs and crashed helicopter parts

A photographer came to know about this strange family in 2015. When he visited them to take pictures, Lang and his father got scared. They took time to accept the presence of the photographer. The Vietnamese authorities wanted Lang and his family members to get accustomed to modern civilisation first, before meeting the media. Otherwise, they would have been emotionally upset. That is why the authorities revealed Lang’s story eight years after rescuing him.

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