Since the old days, generations succeeding generations, people in Hue region were spreading an infamous “Four Forbidden Acts” or “Four Don’ts”, locals call it “Thừa Thiên Tứ Bất”.
“Bất giao Nguyệt Biều hữu Bất thú Dạ Lê thê Bất ẩm Thạch Hàn thuỷ Bất thực Lương Quán kê” These infamous warning means the following Don’t make friends with guys from Nguyệt Biều village Don’t marry women from Dạ Lê village Don’t drink water from Thạch Hàn river Don’t eat chicken from Lương Quán village.
How was Thủy Biều villaged founded?
As you may have known, Nguyệt Biều and Lương Quán are the two adjacent villages, joining to make Thủy Biều village nowadays. The local host families, farmers from Thủy Biều are notable for their hospitality and honesty, and the chicken of Lương Quán are known for their best quality, thanks to organic raising and green environment. There is indeed little explanation to this curse. While wandering around Thuy Bieu village, discussing with senior elderly, we have learnt a legend that might bring some lights to this mystery. The legend of the “Seven Jump Hero” and the “Sacrificing” Rooster.
The Rooster and Seven Jump Legend
Thủy Biều, lit. means Tank of waters, thanks to its 3 faces rounded by Perfume River. Here was located Vạn Thọ Cương, Mr.Đặng sampanier cluster.
Once upon a time, there was a man named Đặng Văn Quý. He left his family and sailed a boat upstream the Perfume River to find an ideal place for him to start a new life. Born to a well educated family, Mr.Đặng had some knowledge about Feng-shui, thus when arriving at the section in front of Thien Mu pagoda, seeing the water current, the mountain backdrop, he was contented to set anchorage by the bank of Thủy Biều village. Mr.Đặng practiced fishing to earn the living, and gradually, others joined him and soon formed a floating village, namely Vạn Đò Thọ Cương. Vạn Đò means a cluster of sampaniers, as their main habitation is on the sampan, they were nomad and granted to no piece of land. For this newly bonded community, their shared pride is the amazing chant of Mr.Đặng’s rooster, a precious race from Đình Bảng village in the North, that he bought with a lot of money. In the morning mist, the rooster of Mr.Đặng stood bravely in the sampan, rose up his voice and let the breeze carry its “Ò Ó O…O” from Thọ Cương floating village through the fog, to the nearby Nguyệt Biều, Trường Thi, Kim Long villages, like a regular wake-up call. Its chants were such a beautiful routine that locals put it equal to the clang of Thien Mụ pagoda’s great bell.
Gió đưa cành trúc la đà
Tiếng chuông Thiên Mụ, canh gà Thọ Cương
(The breeze moves bamboo branches gently
Blending the clang of Thien Mu’s bell and Tho Cương’s rooster chant)
Unfortunately, the sampanier community happy expansion and the increased praise for the rooster’s chant have gained some jealousy. One day, the Mayor of Nguyệt Biều village decided to take an inspection to “illegally” established village in his land, to show off his authority and make some punishment to these nomads. He threaten to chase everyone far away from his land, or they had to offer him something, implicitly mentioning about Mr.Đặng famous rooster. That was shocking and after a quick reunion with other poor villagers, Mr.Đặng was heart torn but accepted to sacrifice his beloved rooster to the Mayor. However, he was determined to get something back for the village, and had a contract signed.
On a set morning, Mr.Đặng and the Mayor met at the ground by the Perfume River, under the witness of other villagers and local authorities to exchange the rooster. In return, Mr.Đặng asked for a piece of land so that later on, his community could come to dry their fishing net. How large was the land? The Mayor allowed Mr.Đặng to measure it, by attaching a rock to his leg, and making seven long jumps from the water edge. When the last jump landed down, the stone would mark the boundary of the exchanged land. Noone knew what was happening, which super spirit was backing up Mr.Đặng, but he made seven jumps so far that no one could have imagined, and as a result obtain a very large piece of land.
But from that day on, noone ever heard the beautiful chant of the rooster again. It might be too sad and home sick to sing or the Mayor imprisoned it in a closed cage, killing its liberal mind as it used to enjoy while living on boat with Mr.Đặng. Or it might have died so soon that the Mayor was so upset that he broke the commitment and chased the whole village away. Regarding Mr.Đặng, he was so sad that he got illness and passed away. On that sad day, the water on Perfume River changed the colors.
Retracing the legend in Thủy Biều
Nowadays, coming to Thủy Biều village, one can see a small temple under the banyan tree dedicated to Mr.Đặng, as a founder genius of Lương Quán village which was expanded on the legendary seven jump spot of land. Đặng was also a long established family clan in Thủy Biều village. It is probably that in the old days, people said “Don’t eat chicken from Lương Quán village, Don’t make friends with guys from Nguyệt Biều village”, is just a way to pay tribute to Mr.Đặng’s rooster, and to remind about the malicious Mayor of Nguyệt Biều village.
In fact, Nguyệt Biều or Thủy Biều people are well known for their intellectual quality and Lương Quán is such a green village, naturally endowed and culturally enriched. Let us show you how green and peaceful today Thủy Biều village is and if you want to justify our testimonials, why not join our “Thủy Biều Flavourful Wandering“(5 hours, bike and boat and home meal in a welcoming family)