Vietnamese apple conspiracy

I don’t know if I buy my own conspiracy theory, and I’m not entirely sure what exactly the “conspiracy” is, but I’ll repost the same thing I always post when this question is asked:

I had a Vietnamese roommate in college. One time someone mentioned apples and my roommate said he could rip them in half. We all called bullshit and so he did it to shut us up. It was pretty cool. But then he claimed that “All Vietnamese people can do it.” That didn’t sound right.

So now whenever I meet a new Vietnamese person, I ask (in as polite and not creepy and not racist a way as I can) if they can rip an apple in half, and I’ll be damned if every person I’ve ever asked goes “Yeah, sure!” Also, most of them follow up with “…all Vietnamese people can rip apples in half.”

Then I always ask if that’s just how people in Vietnam eat apples, and they always say “No, we just eat them the normal way, but all Vietnamese people can rip them in half if they want to.”

I truly don’t know if I’m being trolled or not. If I ask the question and have an apple, I’ll always give it to the person who claims they can do this, and they always can, so there’s some truth to it… but I cannot figure out why, in my experience, almost all Vietnamese people claim that all Vietnamese people can rip apples in half. That’s a weird thing to claim. How are they so sure about what every other Vietnamese person can do? Are they implying that Laotians and Thai people can’t do this? Is it a special trick they teach only in Vietnam? I would never claim that “All Americans can juggle” or that “All white people can juggle”… See, I don’t even know if they’re suggesting it’s a racial trait, or a cultural skill.

Or is it that Vietnamese people are just really proud of their culture, so they like to fib about the skills everyone else has? And then when tested with an apple, all Vietnamese people are just so confident that they’re awesome enough to do it that they just brute-force the apple in half?

Or was there a meeting once, and all Vietnamese people realized that they could help each other by making wild fruit claims about the skills of the Vietnamese so that they could trick dumb white boys like me into giving them free fruit to test their powers?

I would welcome any data anyone else can offer on this. My sample size is admittedly small, about 8 Vietnamese people, so this could just be a statistical fluke. But when 6 people, who have almost certainly never met each other before, independently claim that all Vietnamese people have fruit powers, it makes you wonder whether it might just be true.

Follow-up notes:

1. ⁠Yes, I understand that plenty of non-Vietnamese folks can rip an apple in half. Hell, I can do it too. That doesn’t make the Vietnamese fruit claims that I’ve experienced less peculiar.
2. ⁠Yes, I know that British comedian Bob Mortimer can do this.
3. ⁠By my rough estimate from past comments in previous threads, for every Vietnamese person claiming that they’ve never heard of this, there’s another Vietnamese person claiming that all Vietnamese people can rip apples, and yet another non-Vietnamese person who asks a coworker or an in-law or a friend and learns that they can rip apples. Of that last group, it seems like about half of the Vietnamese people asked add “Oh yeah, all Vietnamese people can do that.”
4. ⁠Let me address all Vietnamese people for a second: If a bunch of people give you free apples to test this, and you like apples, enjoy! If you get a bunch of annoying fruit inquiries that you don’t want to deal with, I’m sorry. But really, is it my fault for accurately reporting my experiences with Vietnamese folks, apple ripping, and Vietnamese folks’ claims about apple ripping? Or should you really be annoyed at all of my past Vietnamese acquaintances who have made these claims? Anyway, at least hopefully this is more fun for you to talk about than the war.

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