Tears Behind the Great Wall

Tears Behind the Great Wall

Xiaoying Mei, Reporter

You might have heard of the Great Wall of China, as it is one of the Seven Wonders in the world. It draws admiration from around the world with its greatness, while the cruelty behind it gets little attention. In memory of the deaths under Emperor Qin’s cruelty, stories were written and spread among the people such as the Meng Jiangnu’s Bitter Weeping.

During the Qin’s Dynasty, there was a kind and beautiful lady named Meng Jiangnu. She was in love with a young and literate man, Fan Qiliang. At that time, Emperor Qin announced the building of the Great Wall in defense of the national northern border. Building the wall demanded a large amount of labor, therefore, many young men were recruited and even taken away from their family by force. Three days after the marriage of Meng and Fan, soldiers went to their village and forced Fan to join the building miles away from the village.

Meng Jiangnu immersed herself in tears everyday after Fan was taken away. Led by sorrow and emptiness, she sewed the clothes for Fan and decided to set off to see him crossing all the obstacles in the way. When she finally arrived with eagerness and excitement, she was told by one of the worker that Fan died of exhaustion and was buried under the Great Wall. The death of Fan shocked Meng and she cried day and night sitting on the ground. Suddenly a section of the Great Wall collapsed with a tremendous noise. The workers were astonished and thought the collapse was caused by the crying of Meng. However, it triggered the anger of Emperor Qin and decided to punish Meng.

Nevertheless, Qin was attracted by Meng’s beauty at the first sight. Instead of punishing Meng, he asked her to marry him. Holding her feeling of anger, Meng agreed on the basis Fan’s body to be found and a funeral be held. After the terms were met, Qin was ready to bring Meng back to his palace. On their way, Meng jumped into the nearby sea, under the carelessness of the guards.

The folklore of Meng and Fan was memorialized for their love and the bravery of Meng Jiangnu. Meanwhile, it reflected the cruel system under the Empire of Qin. Even though the Great Wall has become a famous wonder of the world, the blood and tears behind it should be remembered as well.