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Finding true meaning in classic Chinese literature

Posted in Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the September 6th, 2010

When I was young, I learned these classic Chinese literatures. One of them is the famous Dang dynasty poem from Wang Wei “A Song at Weicheng” and another one is one of the four Chinese classic novels “Journey to the West” from the 16th century. My trip to the Silk Road three weeks ago made all these literatures into reality.

王维Wang Wei wrote《送元二使安西(又名“渭城曲”)》A SONG AT WEICHENG
渭城朝雨浥轻尘,A morning-rain has settled the dust in Weicheng;
客舍青青柳色新。Willows are green again in the tavern dooryard….
劝君更尽一杯酒, Wait till we empty one more cup —
西出阳关无故人。West of Yang Gate there’ll be no old friends.
I was able to see the so called Yang Gate阳关 at Jiayuguan 嘉裕关and the nearby Jade Gate 玉门关. These gates together marked the boundaries between ancient China 中国 and the surrounding barbarians. West of the gates was desert while east of the gates was the civilized China in old days. Making the geographic connection allows me to fully understand the true meaning of “West of Yang Gate there’ll be no old friends”.

One of the most famous characters in Journey to the West 西游记was the Monkey King孙吾空. In one of the episode, the Monkey King had to pass the Flaming Mountain火焰山with his crew. The only way to pass the Mountain was to borrow a super fan from a powerful person. I thought the Flaming Mountain火焰山was existed only in literature when I was young. But there is the real Flaming Mountain in Xinjiang province that I saw this time. The red sandy mountain under the sun is breathtakingly beautiful. Not only did we find the real Flaming Mountain, we also went to Guazhou 瓜州. In Journey to the West, the Monkey King also went to Guazhou 瓜州. We tasted sweet melon at Guazhou, maybe that is why it is called Guazhou because melon in Chinese is Gua瓜.

By the way, if you don’t know what Four Chinese Classic Novels are, they are: Romance of the Three Kingdoms 三國演義, Water Margin 水滸傳, Journey to the West 西遊記 and Dream of the Red Chamber 紅樓夢. Happy learning because what you have learned could be true.

6 Responses to 'Finding true meaning in classic Chinese literature'

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