You’ll know the legend of Magic Jade, the tragically romantic Vietnamese princess, because you learned it as a young child. But in case you’ve forgotten, let us remind you.
Magic Jade is the daughter of the last King of Vietnam before the start of the 1000 year Chinese domination of the country. Magic Jade falls in love with a powerful, rich, handsome Chinese prince. They get married and live happily with her family in the Vietnamese palace in Ninh Binh province. Of course, there were some tensions in this otherwise perfect family because the Chinese were trying to occupy Vietnam and kill the King. So the son-in-law was also the enemy. But the Vietnamese King had a special weapon; an arrow that could kill 100 soldiers at a time. No way the Chinese could win any battle with this King. However, one morning, after a passionate night of love-making, Magic Jade, fully trusting her husband, reveals to him the secret weapon and where it was kept. Her duplicitous Chinese husband then steals the arrow replacing it with a fake one. Not only that, he then makes an excuse to leave Vietnam and return home to China – but taking the secret arrow with him. Sure enough, a month later the Chinese prince is back in Vietnam only this time at the head of an army. And he has the secret arrow weapon with him.
Battle ensues, the Vietnamese army is defeated, the king is swept from power and suddenly Vietnam begins what was to turn into a 1000 year Chinese occupation of the country. And who is it to blame for this catastrophe? Yes, Magic Jade.
The king and Magic Jade flee on horseback from the pursuing Chinese army, trying to save both their lives. But Magic Jade still loves her husband. He may be a cunning bastard but she doesn’t see that side of him. All she sees is a man she doesn’t want to lose. As their horse gallops through the forest she leaves behind a trail of feathers, taken out of one of her cushions. Which makes it rather easy for her husband and his soldiers to follow them
After three hours of fleeing, the king has to stop the horse for short rest. And when he stops what does he see? A trail of feathers left behind for the Chinese prince and his army to follow.
Appalled at the traitorous actions of his daughter, the King whips out his sword and beheads her with one almighty sweep of his arm.
Magic Jade gets an update
OK, that is the ancient legend. Let’s update it a little. After all, this is supposed to have happened some twenty-one centuries, ago so the legend is ready for a revamp.
In the 21st century version of this story, all the events are the same, (well, let’s swop the arrow for a nuclear drone). There is still love, lust, romance, passion, countries at war, feuding in-laws and awful husbands.
What is also different is that the King and Magic Jade flee in a helicopter to a secret island off the coast of Vietnam. A feather trail isn’t going to work so Magic Jade texts her husband about their destination. Landing at the island, the King believes they are safe for a while. No such luck! Moments later the Chinese prince arrives on his helicopter, accompanied by a regiment of elite soldiers.
The Prince storms into the house where the king and Magic Jade are hiding, fully expecting to be received with love by his wife. Big mistake. What the Prince receives is not love but a bullet between the eyes from Magic Jade.
No way is Magic Jade going to forgive her husband from causing terror in her home and in her country. She left the trail in order to kill her husband, not to embrace hi
Now for some interesting questions:
That 21st century Vietnamese women are not easily seduced by smooth-talking, sweet-looking, men, no matter how rich and handsome they may be.
That Magic Jade the ancient princess didn’t love herself enough. She elevated her husband over her own welfare and that of her family. She put him first, herself second. Not a good move for any woman who wants to protect herself, her dignity, her self-worth.
21st Century Magic Jade is an independent, educated, free-thinking, woman. You mess with her then you better watch out. She is no-one’s puppet. No man can take her love for granted.
Because she saves most of her love for herself. She would never allow anyone to cheat her. She has sharp awareness of her own emotions. She knows who she can rely on and who not. She is confident enough to open her heart to love and pleasure but at the same time alert enough to protect herself and the things and people of value to her. The last thing she would allow is for someone to make use of her heart to her own detriment.
Imagine you are the King. Which version of Magic Jade would you prefer as your daughter? If your answer is the ancient version then sorry – you are living in the wrong age. Better go back and live 21 centuries ago.
If you answer the 21st century version then congratulations! You got the answer right.
This updated version is for you and parents like you, not just in Vietnam but around the world.
A quick and simple solution is to ask your daughter to attend the Intelligence Partnership 2023 Summer Schools (June-July in Hanoi)