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              Home History and Culture Meng Jiangnu's Bitter Weeping
              Meng Jiangnu's Bitter Weeping
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              Meng Jiangnu TempleThis story happened during the Qin Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝, 221BC-206BC). There was once an old man named Meng (孟 mèng) who lived in the southern part of the country with his wife. One spring, Meng sowed a seed of bottle gourd in his yard. The bottle gourd grew up bit by bit and its vines climbed over the wall and entered his neighbor Jiang’s yard. Like Meng, Jiang (jiāng 江)?had no children and so he became very fond of the plant. He watered and took care of the plant. With tender care of both men, the plant grew bigger and bigger and gave a beautiful bottle gourd in autumn. Jiang plucked it off the vine, and the two old men decided to cut the gourd and divide it by half. To their surprise when they cut the gourd a pretty and lovely girl was lying inside! They felt happy to have a child and both loved her very much, so they decided to bring the child up together. They named the girl Meng Jiangnu (mèng jiāng nǚ 孟姜女), which means Meng and Jiang’s daughter.

              As time went by, Meng Jiangnu grew up and became a beautiful young woman. She was very smart and industrious. She took care of old Meng and Jiang’s families, washing the clothes and doing the house work. People knew that Meng Jiangnu was a good girl and liked her very much. One day while playing in the yard, Meng Jiangnu saw a young man hiding in the garden. She called out to her parents, and the young man came out.

              At that time, Emperor Qin Shihuang (qín shǐ huáng 秦始皇, the first emperor of Qin) announced to build the Great Wall (cháng chéng 長城). So lots of men were caught by the federal officials. Fan Xiliang (fàn xǐ liáng 范喜良) was an intellectual man and very afraid of being caught, so he went to Meng’s house to hide from the officials. Meng and Jiang liked this good-looking, honest, and good-mannered young man. They decided to wed their daughter to him. Both Fan Xiliang and Meng Jiangnu accepted happily, and the couple was married several days later. However, three days after their marriage, officials suddenly broke in and took Fan Xiliang away to build the Great Wall in the north of China.

              Meng Jiangnv's Bitter WeepingIt was a hard time for Meng Jiangnu after her husband was taken away - she missed her husband and cried nearly every day. She sewed warm clothes for her husband and decided to set off to look for him. Saying farewell to her parents, she packed her luggage and started her long journey. She climbed over mountains and went through the rivers. She walked day and night, slipping and falling many times, but finally she reached the foot of the Great Wall at the present Shanhaiguan Pass (shān hǎi guān 山海關).

              Upon her arrival, she was eager to ask about her husband. Bad news came to her, however, that Fan Xiliang had already died of exhaustion and was buried into the Great Wall! Meng Jiangnu could not help crying. She sat on the ground and cried and cried. Suddenly with a tremendous noise, a 400 kilometer-long (248-mile-long) section of the Great Wall collapsed over her bitter wail. The workmen and supervisors were astonished. Emperor Qin Shihuang happened to be touring the wall at that exact time, and he was enraged and ready to punish the woman.

              However, at the first sight of Meng Jiangnu Emperor Qin Shihuang was attracted by her beauty. Instead of killing her, the Emperor asked Meng Jiangnu to marry him. Suppressing her feeling of anger, Meng Jiangnu agreed on the basis of three terms. The first was to find the body of Fan Xiliang, the second was to hold a state funeral for him, and the last one was to have Emperor Qin Shihuang wear black mourning for Fan Xiliang and attend the funeral in person. Emperor Qin Shihuang thought for a while and reluctantly agreed. After all the terms were met, Emperor Qin Shihuang was ready to take her to his palace. When the guarders were not watching, she suddenly turned around and jumped into the nearby Bohai Sea (bó hǎi 渤海).

              This story?Meng Jiangnu's Bitter Weeping tells?of the hard work of Chinese commoners, as well as exposes the cruel system of hard labor during the reign of Emperor Qing Shihuang. The Ten-Thousand-Li Great Wall embodied the power and wisdom of the Chinese nation. In memory of Meng Jiangnu, later generations built a temple, called the Jiangnu Temple (jiāng nǚ miào 姜女廟), at the foot of the Great Wall in which a statue of Meng Jiangnu is located. Meng Jiangnu’s story has been passed down from generation to generation.


              孟姜女哭長城
              ????? 秦始皇統一中國后,征集了數十萬民夫,于公元前214年將秦、燕、趙三國北邊的城墻連通、修繕合一,這便是舉世聞名的萬里長城。孟姜女萬里尋夫送寒衣,哭倒長城八百里的傳說就發生在那個時候.
                古時候,孟老漢和姜老漢互為鄰居,僅一墻之隔。一年春天,孟老漢在自己院中種了一顆葫蘆籽,經過澆水、施肥精心培育,葫蘆秧長得肥壯、高大,從墻頭爬過去,到姜老漢的院里結了個很大的葫蘆,有幾十斤重。等葫蘆熟后,姜老漢拿刀把它切開,突然見里邊躺著個又白又胖、非??蓯鄣呐尥?,姜老漢喜臺望外,奔走相告,村里人聽說后,紛紛前來觀看這新鮮事,可是孟、姜兩老漢卻因此產生了矛盾,吵得不可開交。孟老漢非常堅定地說:"這葫蘆是我親自種下的,胖女孩該歸我。"姜老漢卻固執地說:"這葫蘆結在我的院子里,這女娃該是我的。"吵了三天三夜,難解難分,毫無結果,后經村里人調解為:女娃娃屬于兩家共同的,輪流居住,共同扶養,并取了個"孟姜女"的名字。
                光陰似箭,日月如梭,轉眼間十多年過去了,孟、姜兩家老人為現已長大成人的孟姜女選了個女婿叫范喜良,選定良辰吉日,準備成親。天有不測風云,成親之日,新郎、新娘正要拜堂,突然從門外闖進幾個衙役,一擁而上把新郎范喜良當民夫抓走了。
                原來,當時由于秦始皇在全國各地抽調大批民夫修筑長城,日日夜夜拚命干,民夫們被累死、餓死的不計其數,為了加快工程速度,他們又到處抓民夫補充,范喜良也被發配去充當修長城的民夫了。
                轉眼一年過去了,范喜良杳無音信,急得孟姜女飯吃不下,覺睡不著,不知如何是好,跟兩家老人商量后,決定去找丈夫,發誓找不到丈夫絕不回家。她帶上干糧和給丈夫特制的御寒衣服上路了。一路上,風吹雨淋、日曬風寒、饑寒交迫、步履艱難,經過千難萬險的萬里跋涉,終于找到了修長城的地方,一打聽才知道,為修長城死了許多人,丈夫范范喜良早就累死了,并被埋在長城下,尸骨都找不到了。這一消息如同晴天霹靂,孟姜女頓時就傷心地慟哭起來,淚如泉,聲如雷,哭得驚天動地,天昏地暗,眼看著長城一段段的倒塌,哭到哪里塌到哪里,足有八百里長。這下可急壞了工程總管,急忙去報告正來此巡查工程進展的秦始皇。
              ????? 秦始皇趕忙去見孟姜女尋問根由。一見之后,便被她的美貌迷住了,非要封她為"正宮娘娘"。孟姜女雖然怒火滿腔,但還是壓住心頭仇恨,靈機一動,將計就計地非要秦始皇答應她三個條件,才能當"正宮娘娘"。一要找到丈夫范喜良的尸體;二要為其丈夫舉行國葬;三要秦始皇為范杞梁披麻戴孝、打幡送葬。秦始皇聽罷孟姜女提的三個條件,思索片刻,為了得到美貌的孟姜女,便硬著頭皮答應下來,孟姜女戴著孝拜了為筑城而死的范喜良墳墓后,宿愿已償,面對滾滾的渤海,縱身一躍,投海自盡了。
              ????? 孟姜女哭長城的故事,很快就被人們所傳頌,人們為紀念她,在山海關附近的一個山頭上,給她修了墳、建了廟,取名為"姜女廟"。 孟姜女萬里尋夫送寒衣,哭倒長城八百里的故事家喻戶曉,流傳至今。

               

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