Monday, April 20, 2015

Chinese Creation Myth - the Pangu Epoch

Spongebob was a delightful student. My eyes widened when I first heard the English name she had chosen for herself. Her presentation about an ancient Chinese creation myth got me thinking about
my own culture's stories, historical, religious, et el. China is a very old culture and it's interesting how the stories thrived with embellishments and survived the struggle of time; still known and told today.

          Pangu is a myth in the epoch-making style. Pangu culture is a bright pearl of Chinese culture. In ancient China, people believed that it was Pangu who created the world.

      In very ancient times when the heaven and the earth were not separated, the universe looked like a big egg kind of chaotic lump. And in the egg lived a giant who was called Pan Gu having always been asleep in this big egg for about 18,000 years. When he waked up, he could see nothing but a turbid world. Pan Gu was not satisfied with this, so he used his huge hands to chop in the dark and the "big egg" broke up immediately. Then, among them both light and clear things rose slowly and dispersed gradually; sky becoming blue. Those stately turbid things had come down but slowly, and became underfooting land.

      Pan Gu was afraid that the sky and the land would close again, so he stood between them day and night. Also, his body grew longer and longer with the increasing distance between the sky and the earth. Another 18,000 years passed away and the sky had been higher and higher; the field had been thicker and thicker. The distance between sky and land was so far that no one could link them together. Pangu, relying on self extraordinary power finally opened up the scope of operation out; but he had been tired to death. Before death, the gas that he called out of his mouth became spring breeze and the sky: cloud and mist. The sound that he made became the thunderbolt. His left eye had become the sun, the right eye had become the moon. Hair and a beard had become the night sky star. His body had become roads and mountains. Blood had become river. Muscle had become farmlands. The teeth, skeleton and bone marrow had become underground mineral resources. The skin had become the grass and trees on the earth. Sweat had become rain and dew.

      In a word, Pangu created everything in the world using his body and then the beautiful world came into existence. His soul became human beings after his death, which is the reason why we call humans the wisest creatures.

      Excepting Pangu Epoch, there are pretty ancient fairy tiales, such as Nuwa Mending the Heaven, Kuafu Chasing the Sun, Jingwi Filling the Sea and so on. While those tales may not be scientific, they are beautiful and attractive. Welcome to CHina, an ancient country with profound history and splendid culture to help you feel the charm of myth.