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Alana Rainer having her beautiful braids admired by Vietnamese locals

Diversity makes our world special. Different beliefs, different appearances, different food, different gender interpretations, different languages—the list goes on and on for all the ways contrasting cultures come together under one large sky roof to create one rich and complex existence. It’s a miracle we sometimes take for granted or don’t fully respect.

But still, moments of pure appreciation for what makes us unique come out. And luckily, we live in an age where capturing and sharing those moments is easier than ever.

For travel guide Alana Rainer, it came when she was walking through a remote village in Vietnam and the locals held nothing back as they marveled at her long braids.

It’s such a brief interaction, but it contains what makes humanity so beautiful.

Rainer’s onscreen text playfully reads, “being Black in Vietnam be like…” as the short clip shows onlookers standing in awe. One woman even carefully touches her hair while smiling.


@alanarainer Honestly I personally found it so funny how amazed they were 🤷🏽‍♀️😭 Whats your thoughts 😅💭 #vietnam #blackinasia #traveltiktok #travellife ♬ Island In The Sun - Weezer

While the scenario of a Black person’s hair being touched usually has negative connotations and is seen as a racial microaggression, Rainer is clearly smiling back, and wrote in the caption, “personally found it so funny how amazed they were.”

Others were quick to note how gently and thoughtfully the Vietnamese woman handled Rainer’s locks, making the action so endearing.

“Normally it would be a no but she’s touching her hair so attentively,” another person wrote. Rainer, agreed, replying, “Yess that’s why I let them touch my hair – I was also soo fascinated by them – it was honestly an amazing experience in my opinion.”

When we zero in on differences in order to dehumanize people…well, it should go without saying that that is a bad thing. That is how racism, genocide and needless wars happen. But when we celebrate our differences, we celebrate life itself.