Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Butterfly lover(梁山伯与祝英台)

Lady-butterfly ballet, with some acrobat performance

Beautiful isn't it?

This centuries-old folklore (Lady Butterfly ballet) is known to every Chinese in China when they are young. The folklore is part of the Chinese literature and is taught in primary school.
The Butterfly Lovers (梁山伯与祝英台; 梁山伯與祝英台;literally: Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai) is a Chinese legend of a tragic love story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo (梁山伯) and Zhu Yingtai (祝英台), whose names form the title of the story. The title is often abbreviated to Liang Zhu (梁祝) and often regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet.

Six cities in the People's Republic of China have collaborated in 2004 on a formal application for the Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity ([1]) on the legend at UNESCO [3], submitted in 2006 through the Chinese Ministry of Culture.

China to seek world heritage listing of "butterfly lovers" story

China will seek the listing of its centuries-old folklore story "The Butterfly Lovers" as non-material world heritage, with a formal application expected to be submitted to UNESCO in 2006.

The plan was announced at a meeting of representatives from six cities of four east and central China provinces which concluded Saturday in Ningbo, a booming port city in the coastal province of Zhejiang. All the six cities have claimed to be the place of origin of the "Butterfly Lovers" story.

The most popular love story in China, the "Butterfly Lovers" tells the legend of two 4th century Chinese lovers who could not get married in their lifetime due to different family backgrounds and turned into a butterfly couple after their death. The story was also called "China's Romeo and Juliet".

For centuries, the story has been adapted into traditional operas, movies and TV plays. A modern concerto adapted from the story has now become a music classic repeatedly played by world-class masters.

Chinese folklore experts say that the debate over the place of origin of the story, which has heated up in recent years as several cities across the country claim to possess historical records or cultural relics relating to the story, has affected the story's application for a world heritage listing.

As a result, the China Butterfly Lovers' Culture Research Society hosted the meeting in Ningbo, where archaeologists claimed to have excavated a 1,600-year-old tomb believed to belong to the male protagonist in the story, to help all involved parties dispel contentions and seek common grounds.

"Participants of the meeting have reached consensus that the 'Butterfly Lovers' story is a precious cultural legacy for the Chinese nation, and it's necessary and imperative to seek the story's listing as non-material world heritage for a better protection of this cultural legacy," said a spokesman with the research society.

According to the spokesman, all the regions with records or relics relating to the story have agreed to work together under the coordination of the research society and jointly prepare the application materials in the next couple of years.

"We will submit all application materials to the Chinese Ministry of Culture in 2006, which is expected to transfer them to the UNESCO," the spokesman says.

Source: Xinhua

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