A Cultural Journal

    The Origin of the Yellow River

    Written by: Li Wei - Posted on: July 30, 2012 | Post your comment here Comments | 中文 (Chinese)

    Google Translation: اُردو | 中文

    Story behind Yellow River, China

    The Yellow River, China

    A long time ago, there lived a young man named Huang He who was skilled in the art of Kung Fu. He was an expert archer as well, and had never been known to miss a single target.

    Huang He lived off his hunting. Whenever he went to the woods to hunt, he would pass by a garden that belonged to a rich man. One day, on his way home from the woods, past the garden, he saw a girl smiling at him over the wall. The girl threw a bracelet to him and then disappeared.

    Huang He picked up the bracelet and was at a loss as to what to do. From that day on he would take the bracelet with him every time he went outdoors, seeking its owner and hoping to return it when the opportunity arose. One night, as he returned home late, he came across the girl again. Huang He discovered that the girl had been falling in love with him for a long time and on that day she finally found the courage to let him know and to see him without her father’s consent.

    Yet this soon became known to the girl’s father, who was furious and had her locked away. In front of his house, he had a wooden scaffold set up with a bronze coin hanging on it, and declared that anyone who could shoot an arrow right through the hole in the coin from 100 footsteps away would be permitted to marry his daughter.

    No one but Huang He succeeded in doing this. But then, the girl’s father laid down another condition: Huang He was to shoot the first arrow into the hole and then push it out by shooting a second arrow. Once again, Huang He succeeded. The girl’s father, however, laid down yet another condition, saying that Huang He would have to shoot the coin down to the ground with one arrow from 100 footsteps away and catch the coin before it fell to the earth.

    Huang He realized that no matter how many times he succeeded, the rich man would continue laying down new conditions to prevent Huang He from marrying his daughter. He decided that his best hope lay in improving his Kung Fu and then rescuing his beloved from her father’s home. So he practiced very hard every day, and after one year, the young man believed himself sufficiently ready to save the young girl. He set out for the rich man’s house, but on his way there, he encountered a strange looking bird that stood in his way and said, “There’s no need to look for her now. She was forced to marry an old landlord after you left her house the last time and in desperation, she jumped down from the building. She died repeating your name over and over.”

    On hearing these words, Huang He’s heart was torn to pieces. He began to cry and was unable to stop himself. He cried so many tears that they ran into a stream and then into a river that headed eastward. And so it was that Huang He’s tears became the Yellow River.



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