Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mulan is not just a cartoon

After returning home from my quick trip through Chinese Gardens I started to reflect on what my gracious host, Izzy the monitor lizard, showed me. As we rushed through the park, I remembered at one point passing some statues of famous Chinese heroes. Izzy specifically pointed out Confucius but I thought I remembered seeing a statue of Mulan as well. I needed to go back to the gardens to be sure.

I knew about Mulan by watching the Disney cartoon about a Chinese girl who pretended to be a man and went to war for 12 years, never having her secret uncovered. It was one of my favorite movies that Samantha and I watched when I lived with her. I would sit in her lap and she would brush me while we watched. (I mostly liked the brushing part.)

I did a little research online and found an article by the Scribe of The Ancient Standard called "The Real Story of Mulan" dated June 17 2011. The "Real" Mulan was known as Fa Mulan in Cantonese and Hua Mulan in Mandarin. She was a character in a folktale about a  Chinese heroine that took her fathers place in a war because he was too weak to fight and she did not have any brothers. Wikipedia tells us the poem is called "The Ballad of Mulan" and it ends with the lines, " The male rabbit is swifter of foot, The eyes of the female are somewhat smaller. But when the two rabbits run side by side, How can you tell the female from the male?"
Pretty progressive for the 4th century...

Anyway, I had to take a trip back to Chinese Gardens to see if there really was a statue of Mulan there. I remembered which bus to take and the long walk through the field to enter the park. Unfortunately, Izzy was not there to greet me but I remembered where the statues were. I crossed the bridge, turned right and there she was!
I don't know if Mulan was a real person or not but I do know her story is an inspiration to me!


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