May 3, 2012

Azalea (Du Jiun)

This Spring I was first in Xiamen university and saw my first spring Azalea..and then in Putien of Fujian where there were so many "RED FLOWERS covering the hill slopes...." Immediately the red tints brought to mind the song my mum used to sing when we were young...Below is the youtube I found for you and your listening pleasure.


黃友棣:杜鵑花






My first and personal photo of azaleas in Xiamen on my first day.
Those beautiful red flowers on the hillslopes according to my travelling companion Yi Fang are azaleas. In Chinese culture, the azalea is known as "thinking of home bush" (siangish shu) and is immortalized in the poetry of Tu Fu and is used to rich effect in contemporary stories such as by Taiwanese author Pai, Hsien-Yung.


那片血一般紅的杜鵑花)
Azeala in Spring Tu Fu’s poignant allusion to the azalea is immortalized in “Alone, Looking For Blossoms Along the River,” the last stanza reading:

“I don’t so love blossoms I want to die, I’m afraid,
Once they are gone; of old age still more impetuous,
And they scatter gladly, by the branchful. Let’s talk
Things over little buds – open delicately, sparingly.”

And this Haiku from the Japanese poet, Matsu Basho, writing in the 17th century:

"rock azaleas
have they been dyed by the red
tears of the cuckoo."
Googled this old photo - Fujian University students with Azaleas....
When you see this you can understand why azaleas are so popular  for landscaping. (Photo from Google)


In recent years landscape designers use azaleas to colour the green expanses of the Fujian roadsides. Azaleas when potted have only flowers and no leaves.They are so fantastic from afar.

But in my mind Azaleas will invoke my mother's love for great songs and pretty flowers on hill slopes.....the inner strength of women in times of war.....and the land of my ancestors.

And I hope that you too would be blessed like me...to see Azaleas on the hill slopes of Fujian....

2 comments:

David Chin said...

Your flower is so big!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

David...Macro..and zoomed in too...thanks...How are yours doing?