Culture Culture

11/02/2020 - 07:34

Legend of Dragon Rivulet

Although there is no historical record of Dragon Rivulet (Khe Long) (also called Dragon Water Source-Long nguồn), the cool water from it has helped many people in the sea area. The water from Dragon Rivulet also nourishes a variety of natural product, that is to say saltwater lotus, offered to the Royal Palace.

Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan (Dien Loc Hamlet, Phu Dien Commune, Phu Vang District) fished out water-fern and transplanted lotus seedlings at the lotus pool in Dien Loc Hamlet with water source from Dragon Rivulet.

Deposit at the time of developing the new land

The people in My Loi sacred land (Vinh My Commune, Phu Loc District) currently circulate a mysterious story about Dragon Rivulet. The story goes that when the earth underwent a transformation 7 million years ago, the first Vietnamese residents from the North moved to today's My Loi area; at the same time, the indigenous people also came to choose the cape to establish the hamlet named My Toan.

This hamlet is located next to the rivulet which is green all year round, provides water for daily life and irrigation. The legend has it that the Dragon King created rain to produce an endless water source. The name Dragon Rivulet was derived from that.

Talking about Dragon Rivulet, old Doan Phung (80, My Loi Village) showed us the perspective of Dragon Rivulet project about to be built with a budget of VND 150 million. For them, it is an important historical relic of the village.

“In My Loi people’s mind, Dragon Rivulet has provided them with water, helped them in need so far. On lunar March 15 every year, the villagers often make offerings to Long Rivulet to show gratitude,” Mr. Phung revealed.

In the three-sided villages facing the sea to the north of Thua Thien Hue, when Quang Tri residents came to establish a fishing community, the rivulets originating from the western dunes brought water to help them overcome the miserable days. The water on the high hill flows into sand, towards the sea through each village. The people set up the temple to keep their faith.

The My Village leans on the sea. Over time, the name of the village remains although the administrative boundary division of the village makes this name rarely mentioned. The My has three wards; each has a rivulet flowing horizontally in front, providing water for people's daily life needs.

Now, when the village has important affairs, its people must "ask the Rivulet God for opinion." Every year, the people dig, clean and repair the rivulet to pay tribute to the Rivulet God. “Despite the drought season, the water in the rivulet is not dry. Therefore, our people are not afraid of shortage of water,” said Mr. Phan Theo (85, Hamlet 10, Dien Hoa Commune).

About Dragon Rivulet, researcher Tran Dai Vinh said that in their mind, the coastal people always respect the water source. The people in Thua Thien Hue north called it Long water source while those in the south Dragon Rivulet. Out of respect, they set up the temple

“From the Sa Huynh, Champa culture till now, the people have used that natural water for daily life and watering plants. It is a safe water source,” said Vinh.

Hai The Village’s people (Phong Hai Commune, Phong Dien District) burnt incense in gratitude at the village’s Dragon Water Source

"Nurturing" the natural products to offer to the Royal Palace

At the Dragon Temple beside the rivulet at Phuong Dien Hamlet (Phu Dien Commune, Phu Vang District), people told the story of the dragon that appeared to create a source of water to help the people. The source of water originating from Dragon Rivulet runs parallel to the sea, creating nearly-10ha-wide lotus pools all over Thanh Duong and Dien Loc Hamlets (Phu Dien Commune). Once, the lotus in this salty land was the natural product used to offer to the Royal Palace.

By the time we arrived, the lotus pools in Phu Dien had been at the end of the crop. Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan (Dien Loc Hamlet) rowed the small boat to fish out water-fern, grass around the pool to regenerate lotus and transplant seedlings. Although at a young age, mentioning lotus, Tuan asserted, "Phu Dien lotus is the best in Hue."

According to him, the reason is that lotus growers at Tinh Tam (Inner Peace) Lake or all over the localities come here to get seeds. Besides, Phu Dien lotus is nourished by the cool water from Dragon Rivulet combined with the typical mud of salty sea.

“Compared with the market price, Phu Dien lotus is overpriced. Each unprocessed kilo of lotus seeds costs up to VND 300,000; 1,000 seeds cost VND 650,000. The lotus grower’s income is up to VND 300-400 million a year per ha. The lotus variety is domesticated year after year. Lotus is grown in the specific waters originating from the rivulet and special mud of nature. The lotus variety from Phu Dien replanted in other areas is not good,” shared Mr. Nguyen Van Tuan.

Dragon Rivulet originates from Phu Dien, like a river, extending up to 40km, accumulating water from the hills, down to the coastal area, towards the sea at Long Rivulet of My Loi Village. The lands through which water flows produce many famous specialties. The historical documents show that Phuong Dien and Dien Loc are the places through which the water source runs. Aside from daily life needs, the people used to make the most of the water source for cultivating saltwater lotus to offer to the royal palace. Saltwater lotus becomes a specialty that goes down in history.

Researcher Tran Dai Vinh said that every year, the court forced the locals to offer Phu Dien lotus to meet the needs of the Queen Mother Palace, that is to say Truong Tho Cung (Longevity Palace), later Dien Tho Cung (Dien Tho Palace)…

“Hue has not only Tịnh Tâm (Inner Peace) Lotus but also the salt lotus of Dien Loc and Thanh Duong in Phu Dien area. This specialty was provided for the forbidden palace and was more valuable than Tịnh Tâm Lotus. Perhaps the groundwater accumulated in the dunes flows towards the sea, creating Dragon Rivulet, which originates from Phu Vang and down to Phu Loc to nourish the quality of this natural product. Until the end of the feudal regime, the people of Phu Dien still grow in accordance with the custom to retain a famous variety of lotus,” Mr. Vinh said.

Story and photos: Quynh Vien