If you ever go to China, you have to visit Mt. Huangshan – a mountain so majestic that the Chinese say you will never have to go to another mountain again, because none will compare. As you climb the jagged yellow rocks between the flat-topped pines, you will be enveloped in a sea of clouds. The atmosphere is so romantic that the Chinese call it Xian Jing – Heavenly Place.
There is an old tradition that, if lovers put a lock on the railings and bridges on Mt. Huangshan, their love will be blessed by Yue Lao—a Chinese Deity appointed as the Matchmaker for relationship and marriage.
To participate in this real-life fairytale, a couple will buy a lock, climb the mountain together, and after locking the “Tong Xin Suo” (lover lock) on the chain of one of the many bridges, they will throw the keys off the cliff and they will literally be locked in love forever. But how has this tradition held up in today’s world?
Love resembles a lock in some sense. when you really fall in love, you’re locked! Your mind and body cannot help thinking and acting around only one thing: Your Mr. or Ms. Right.
This is the Chinese take on love. Try to imagine being locked in a room… how would you feel? Stifled? Anxious? Angry? Is this how you feel when falling in love? The answer is probably a firm NO? Wait! I almost forgot to tell you that your Mr. or Ms. Right is also in that room. How would you feel now? You may still feel stifled and anxious, but with the company of your lover you know true happiness.
But people don’t consider that you’re locked to your lover when things go wrong as well. You’re bound together through hardships too – disease, economic turmoil, depression and even abuse. This is when people want to break this lock, which nowadays is increasingly easy to do.
In the past, love might have been as simple as locking a lock; if you throw away the key, the bond can never be broken. But now, with the sky-rocketing divorce rate in China, things have changed. Is the lover lock, which represents forever-existing love, out of date? And could the commitment to love someone forever be out of date as well? WTF?!
A relationship is no longer as easy as putting a lock on Mt. Huangshan. It seems that the word “forever” does not fit well into our post-dating world. Traditions are being broken down. Family values are being challenged as over 5000 couples are divorcing in China everyday. You cannot help wondering: Is it too easy to break the lock these days, or is it good that people can now get out of precarious situations?
Do you believe anything can last forever? If not, WTF?! What should I do about my love life?!
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