A legend of durian/ Sự tích trái sầu riêng
Wednesday, October 19, 2011 8:14:22 AM
Unfortunately, one day it was said that Nguyen emperor ordered to find and punished all people who had worked for Tây Sơn. Many people were killed, other were imprisoned. Villagers loved the young man and advised him to run away. They gave him money, food, clothes and other things he needed, including a small sampan to get away.
The man left his hometown, rowed upstream Mekong river. Rowing for a long time, he stopped and came to the river bank to buy some food. He saw a old woman hugging her daughter and crying. The daughter looked so weak. The mother could not find anyone to help, she thought her would died soon. The man, had learnt about medicine since he was a kid, hurriedly found some herbs to save her. He helped the mother and her daughter to come home by his sampan. He also stayed to take care of the young woman until she got well. She was grateful and fell in love with him. The mother told them that in her dream Buddha came and agreed them to get married. A small wedding was held in the small cottage. The man started to live in a very happy time with his wife.
In their garden, there was a fruit tree called “turen” (durian) that the man did not ever saw in his country. When fruits got ripen, the wife took a fruit, picked a flesh pale and gave to her husband. He thought it was too stinky but the wife said that he should try - its smell seemed to be disgusting at first but if he gave it a chance he would feel how delicious it was, just like her love for him which was so deep, so strong. He tasted and knew his wife was right. They enjoyed special moments, taking care of the tree, eating great fruits. They believed that nothing could separate them.
10 years went by as a dream. The wife suddenly got ill. Although he tried his best, even called for other people’s help, he could not save her life. When the wife passed away, he was so said. People at his hometown sent messages to tell him that the emperor did cancel his old order, now he could come back freely. His neighbors thought he should go back to his hometown that might help him get over his pain. In a dream, he met his wife and she said that she would go to his hometown with him. He prepared to leave their house to come back to his country. That year, the turen tree had just one fruit. Looking at the tree, he felt as he saw his wife. He decided to take the fruit together with him.
Coming back to his village, he worked as a teacher again. Little students loved him very much and liked to play at his house. He started to smile again but still missed his wife so much. He planted the turen seeds in his garden. He took care of turen as he did with his wife before.
10 more years went by. The young man now turned to be an old man with grey hair. However he felt as he was young again when he saw his trees gave their first fruits. Waiting for them ripen, he put a fruit on his wife’s alter and invited his natives, his friends to come to try new fruits. When he brought turen for them, they smelled an uncomfortable aroma. Understanding, the old man smiled and said: They look ugly and smell stinky but inside, they are as sweet and beautiful as the love of a young couple. He gave a piece flesh of fruit to them. They tried and realized it was really delicious. While they were enjoying other pieces, he told them the story of him and his wife that he did not want to mention since he came back. When he finished, two teardrops fell on the turen he was taking in his hand.
Three days after that the man died. Since that time, when people eat turen fruits, they remember of the man and his love so they name this fruit “sầu riêng” (means one’s own sorrow). This kind of fruit has been planted in many places. People also said that cultivars which are original from the one got the man’s teardrop have the best delicious fruits.
Well, looking at the thorny, armored husk of a durian, you might be scared and smelling of its aroma, you might feel very uncomfortable, but try it once you might love it forever.
An interesting information I got when surfing around: ripen durian fruits fall down from their trees at two times: (mostly) in midnight (0-1am) and midday (at 12-1pm). Well, that’s why people don’t usually get hurt because of fallen durian fruits, huh?
Durian is planted in the south of my country so I don't have this kind of tree in our garden but I must admit that I really love this fruit. Thank Teresia for a lovely post that reminds me of this legend.
Plus: Durian and his sister jackfruit/mit