September 16, 2011

Horse Power in Yunnan



lù yáo zhī mǎ  lì , rì  jiǔ jiàn rén  xīn
                   ( Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what's in a person's heart. Moral: Character can be revealed by time.)

This can be used positively to praise a true friend, or negatively to criticize friends who could not stand a test.

This Chinese proverb rang in my head as I looked at the horse and cart situation before me in Yunnan. And I realised how truly did our Chinese ancients speak!!


I quickly took the rare opportunity of photographing this worker in a complicated situation with his cart. It was also very ananchronistic - his horse pulling a cart full of beams for a construction site..the beams would help to scaffold shop houses -- His horse looked extremely tired with the over load. A few of the beams were slipping further down the cart and touching the road causing his cart to literally stop in the middle of the road between two blocks of shop houses which had grown from a huge piece of farm land according to my friend who is now living nearby!!

The worker climbed up the cart

He tried to balance some of the beams. He was not able to pull the beams further up the cart.
The horse patiently waited for his master to solve the problem. Getting angry would not help the situation. He has a lot of "horse sense".

There is a Chinese expression which says - in our lives we are often "horse and cow" to our loved ones.

But in fact out of duty and obligation we really have to pull our own weight to create the great balance in life.

But sometimes the last straw will break a camel's back....What will break a horse towards the end?

Like in "Animal Farm" by George Orwell the horse (Boxer) will remain true to his work load until he dies ...

A thought comes to mind. Are women still reckoned as draught animals in many places in the 21st century? 

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

It look smaller than horse, more like the size of donkey. I think this is a different animal?? not sure

Anonymous said...

Is it mule?

Anonymous said...

its a pony - works like a pony

- Ah Ngao

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Anonymous...yes..these Yunnan horses are smaller versions and many would call them ponies.

They are small and hardy and can walk for miles up mountain roads. They can also carry heavy loads.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Anonymous 2...Pony (small version of horse) not mule.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Ah Ngao...you are right. The Yunnan horses are special and are very well known for centuries.

Anonymous said...

What on Earth did he do to his poor pony's barrel? Apart from the pony being obviously miserable and angry his harness has somehow deformed his rib cage. I'm surprised it's even able to move, or even be alive with all of the damage that must be doing.

Good photos, just such a sad subject =(