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China Expats and Culture Blog

Xin Yao

Xin Yao is a contributing writer at TutorABC Chinese. She was born and raised in China, before deciding to get her degrees in Economics and Music at the University of California, Berkeley. She enjoys studying East Asian Languages, and has also studied Japanese for over a year. She is passionate about traveling, music, and photography, and would like to explore more about Chinese culture through writing.

Recent Posts

Butterfly Lovers: The Chinese Romeo And Juliet

Xin Yao | October 06, 2015

We’re sure you’ve heard of Shakespeare’s romantic play, Romeo and Juliet, but have you ever heard of the "Chinese version" of it?

The Chinese romantic 民间传说 (mín jiān chuán shuō), Butterfly Lovers, is a similar but more dramatic story with characters from different culture and backgrounds. Unlike most plays and fairytales, 民间传说 is a special type of cultural production in China. They are legends based on certain historical events, traditions, and famous figures. People created the stories and spread the words orally from one generation to another. Therefore, as time passes by, it’s easy to confuse these folktales with actual history. Mulan, for example, was most likely not a real story. However, while 民间传说 are not real, they accurately reflect the emotions of people in those times.

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