중앙데일리

Ancient quake damage

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May 15,2008
Li Bai was a prominent Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty. He sang a song on the way to Chok, a country in ancient China: “It seems more difficult to go to Chok than to heaven.” At this point people may wonder what Chok would be like.
Sichuan Province has been widely regarded as a region where Chok was located since ancient times.
Du Wu was featured in the cuckoo legend that is familiar to people who learned about the legend in their high school textbooks during the 1970s.
He came from this region. According to legend, he was a king who kept spitting up blood and died because of great grievances about his lost kingdom. He was born again as a cuckoo.
Though Chokhan was established by Liu Bei, the heroic figure of ancient China’s Three Kingdoms era, Du Wu founded a nation called Chok.
Sichuan is one of the most densely populated areas in China. Now Chongqing is a municipality under direct control of the central government. The population of Sichuan originally exceeded more than 100 million.
The eastern part of Sichuan where Chongqing is located was originally called Pa. Because it was a mountainous place, it had scarce natural resources, and people led poverty-stricken lives there, compared to Chok, which had many plains.
It was also well-known as a place where prominent soldiers and generals came from. Zhu De, the leader of the People’s Liberation Army who was a hero in the building of socialist China, was born there.
Comparatively, Chok, west of Sichuan, was a blessed area, as it had abundant resources that people could enjoy.
It was difficult in this area to enjoy a bright day due to heavy clouds and fog. A bright sun was quite unusual.
There is a famous maxim that goes, “If a dog sees the sun in the sky, he will bark,” as it is strange to him. It means that if someone encounters a new thing in an environment that he has been satisfied with in all respects, he will certainly give a weird response.
So Pachok, a combination of Pa and Chok, is now widely considered to be the old name for Sichuan Province. It is famous as a legendary stage for the Three Kingdoms.
The recent massive earthquake in China shattered parts of Sichuan Province.
It makes my heart ache to see the unique ancient land that integrated the two cultures of the Han race and Chok kingdoms sustain vast damage.

*The writer is deputy international news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Yoo Kwang-jong [kjyoo@joongang.co.kr]



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