The Coventry to China exchange program has brought me and my colleagues from the media department of Coventry to the media university (ZUMC) of Hangzhou.
Hangzhou is one of the most cherished and treasured cities in China. Situated only 180 km from Shanghai, Hangzhou is a place of great beauty and culture supported by an old saying in China “Above is heaven, below is Hangzhou”. Being one of the five ancient capitals of China, Hangzhou has also received the name of capital of love because of the famous ancient stories that are situated in this place.
On our third day here we went to visit the legendary West Lake, only one hour away from the university campus. There are many legendary stories that are related to this city but the most significant one is called the White Snake or Lady White Snake, a Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet. The story is one of the most popular folk tales and its plot takes place at the West Lake and the famous Broken Bridge.
Writes Claudia Rosu and Yuxih Zehg…
The story begins in a rainy day when a young lady called Bai (White lady) was strolling with her sister along the West Lake. But the White lady and her sister kept a secret, they were a white snake and a blue snake in human form. At the lake, they met a man called Xu Xian, and they got married after only a few days. But their happiness didn’t last long, for a monk called Fa Hai came to visit Xu Xian and revealed him the secret of his wife.
Hearing that, Xu Xian left his beloved wife. Feeling betrayed, the white lady went to the West Lake and on seeing the Broken Bridge she said “The bridge may not be broken, but my heart is.”
The story however has a happy ending, Xu Xian comes back and apologizes to his wife and united once more with his family he builds a life in Hangzhou.
As seen above, Hangzhou is worthy of the name of “capital of love”, as a large number of love stories took place in this romantic city, and it is a general belief that more love stories will begin in this beautiful city.