Friday, October 10, 2008

Kaifeng Hall

Kaifeng is the ancient capital of the six dynasties and enjoys equal fame as Luoyang. When one travels to Henan, the places that one must definitely visit are Luoyang, Kaifeng and the Shaolin Temple. However, I always missed out Luoyang in my past trips.

Kaifeng (kai-开 means open, feng-封 means close) has a meaning of "rise and fall". 400 years had passed and the prosperous scene on the drawing of "Riverside Scene on the Qing Ming Festival"(清明上河图)had ceased to exist. Even Justice Bao who was famous due to Kaifeng, also paled in significance. In the past, Kaifeng's Justice Bao Shrine was used to display the great achievements of Justice Bao. Later, the local government built the Kaifeng Hall, which was far bigger than the Justice Bao Shrine. The Kaifeng Hall has even become a tourist attraction. The current Kaifeng Hall was built according to the design of the Kaifeng Hall in the Song Dynasty. But the original location was flooded, thus another place was chosen for the new building.

You must reach the Kaifeng Hall by 9am, in order to watch Justice Bao open the door to welcome the guests and receive the decree scroll. During the ceremony, Qin Xiang Lian suddenly came forward with two children and wanted to sue Chen Shi Mei, who abandoned his wife and children to become the emperor's son-in-law. Thereafter, Qin Xiang Lian was brought into the hall and the court began to hear the case. We continued to follow the tour guide, so as to know more about the rise and fall of Kaifeng. Coincidentally, we bump into the actress who acted as Qin Xiang Lian. She was squatting by the roadside, chatting with her friends. She quickly covered her face with her hands when she discovered we were snapping photos of her.

Actually, Qin Xiang Lian could have chosen a better way out. She could just take the money and raise her children to nurture another top scholar. However, for the sake of love and justice, she ruined the future of Chen Shi Mei and caused his death. Perhaps, she never thought that a moment of persistence was enough to cost Chen Shi Mei his life. Of course, if she had let him off, we would not have such a nice show to watch now.

For Qin Xiang Lian, the most unforgivable thing about Chen Shi Mei was not his heartlessness but his ruthlessness. From this example, we can see that over-persistence will sometimes arouse the tendency for others to commit wrongdoings.

Nowadays, freedom is the concept of marriage. However, there are still occurrences of incidents where couples kill each other. Is it worth to exchange love for life or to exchange life for love? I am a rational and optimistic person. In my opinion, romance only occupies part of one's life. Besides romance, there are many other things that one can use their heart to complete. Living for love and dying for love---it is better that we leave these to history.

I spent 100 Chinese yuan to let the tour members have a photo taken with Justice Bao. The extra income that Justice Bao received should be higher than his salary then, no wonder he was so enthusiastic!

Kaifeng Hall, we shall meet again!

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