The Legend of Betel and Areca Nut - Story Summary

Nguyễn Minh Khánh
tháng 1 20, 2024
Last Updated

 The legend of betel and areca nut is a famous fairy tale in Vietnamese folklore. This is a touching story about the affection between brothers and the love between husband and wife. In this article, we will go through the summary, content, and meaning of the legend of betel and areca nut.

The betel and the areca story summary

The Legend of Betel and Areca Nut

Once upon a time, there were two biological brothers, Tan and Lang, who looked exactly alike. Their father was tall and strong, so King Hung summoned him and named his family "Cao". Their father died when both brothers were still young.

Tan was sent to a Taoist priest named Luu. Lang also wanted to study with Tan and was accepted. Tan and the daughter of the Taoist priest Luu fell in love and got married. After Tan got married, Tan and Lang had a conflict, Lang felt that he was "infatuated with his wife and forgot about me". A misunderstanding occurred when Tan became jealous and Lang left home.

Lang came to the riverbank, felt unhappy, and cried. Lang eventually turned into stone. Tan regretted not being able to keep his brother and set out to find him. Tan saw that his brother had turned to stone and died. Regretting his brother, Tan later turned himself into a tree. Tan's wife, not seeing her husband return, also left home to find him. She also turned into a tree next to her husband.

The Taoist couple came to find and build a temple for the three people.

Tan and Lang's trees have leaves and fruits with a delicious sour taste called betel and areca nut trees. King Hung discovered and confirmed that it was a sacred tree. Since then, eating betel nut has become a custom that shows family affection. Tan and Lang's love is considered passionate and deep red. Since then, eating betel nut has become a symbol of deep affection in Vietnamese families.

The legend of betel and areca nut - Full Story

The story begins with two biological brothers, Tan and Lang, who have the same body shape and face. Their father was a tall man and was summoned by King Hung to Phong Chau to be rewarded, giving the family the name Cao. Since then, their family has taken the surname Cao. After their parents passed away, the two brothers were inseparable. Before he died, their father sent Tan to a Taoist priest named Luu, while Lang refused to stay home alone and insisted on studying with his brother.

The Taoist priest Luu had a daughter who was the same age as the two brothers. To distinguish who was the older brother and who was the younger brother, the girl came up with a little trick. While the two brothers were hungry, she only served them a bowl of porridge with a pair of chopsticks. Standing behind the partition, she saw that one of them gave the porridge to the other to eat, so she knew that he was the older brother. Tan and the girl met and fell in love. The Taoist priest Luu was very happy and agreed to marry his daughter to Tan. After getting married, the couple moved to a new house, where Lang lived with them.

Since getting married, Tan no longer cared for and showed affection for his brother as before. Lang felt that his older brother was infatuated with his love for his wife. This made the younger brother feel depressed and upset. One day, after working together until late at night, Lang returned home first and accidentally hugged Tan's wife. At that moment, Tan just walked in and became jealous, being indifferent to Lang. Lang was both angry and ashamed, he left home and went out early in the morning. On the way, Lang came to the bank of a large river with fast-flowing water. He decided not to go back, bowed his head and cried. He cried and cried until even the birds that went out to find food could hear his cries and then he turned into a stone.

Truong Tan was terrified and regretted making his brother leave. The next day, Lang still did not return. Tan decided to set out to find his younger brother. Arriving at the riverbank, he realized that his younger brother had turned into a stone. Hugging the stone, Truong Tan cried until he died. From Tan's body grew a slender tree, reaching high into the sky, standing next to the stone.

Not seeing her husband return, Tan's wife also left home to find him. She came to the riverbank and cried until her tears ran out, then turned into a vine wrapped around Truong Tan's tree.

When the Taoist priest and his wife did not see the three people return, they decided to send people to find them. In front of the stone and the two strange trees, the people in the area built a temple called "brotherly harmony, loyal husband and wife".

In a year of drought, only the two trees next to the stone remained green. People believed that it was something sacred. At that time, King Hung passed through this land, was surprised, and asked about the temple and the two strange trees. Then, the king tasted the fruit but only found it sour. However, when this fruit was chewed with the leaves of the tree, it had a sweet, spicy, and aromatic taste. Suddenly, an official shouted: "Blood". In fact, it was the water when chewing betel nut that would produce a deep red color. Then, the king ordered to take all three things, betel, areca nut, and the stone which is lime, to chew together, then there was a feeling of intoxication, and the lips were bright red. The king said:

How strange! The love of all three is so passionate and admirable.

King Hung asked the people to plant two kinds of trees. When getting married, they must find three things, betel, areca nut, and lime to remember the love that never fades. Since then, the Vietnamese people have had the custom of chewing betel nut.

The significance of the betel and areca nut story

The story of the betel and areca nut has a very profound and meaningful significance in life. First, this story reminds us of the bond between siblings, the love and care for each other in the family. Tan and Lang are two brothers, they love and help each other in life. This shows that the bond between siblings is very precious and should be cherished.

The story of betel and areca nut also emphasizes love and sacrifice. Tan and the girl surnamed Luu met and fell in love. The girl was so heartbroken when she found her husband that she died by her husband's side and turned into a vine.

Finally, the story of betel and areca nut also reminds us of solidarity and forgiveness. Even if there are disagreements or arguments, we should always maintain solidarity and be willing to forgive each other. Lang left home and didn't want to come back after having a conflict with Tan, however, in the end he came back and the two brothers reconciled.

The story of betel and areca nut is a fairy tale with profound meaning and rich in emotion. It reminds us of the bond between siblings, the love between couples and the unity in the family. I hope that through this article, you have learned more about the story of betel and areca nut and feel more love for the treasure trove of Vietnamese folk tales.

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