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Butterfly Lovers

The Butterfly lovers is a Chinese legend about the tragic romance between two lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, or Liang Zhu, from whom the name of the legend is known in Chinese. The legend is often regarded as the Chinese equivalent to Romeo and Juliet.

It was in the feudal China hundreds of years ago, when love as young people's own choice was considered to be devious from the norm of the society. A young woman name Zhu Yingtai from Shangyu, Zhejiang province, disguised herself as a man travelling to Hangzhou to study. During her journey, she met and joined Liang Shanbo, a companion schoolmate from Kuaiji (now known as Shaoxing) in the same province. They studied together for three years, during which their relationship was strengthened. However, Liang never guessed Zhu's true identity; he only found out that she was a girl when both met again in Zhu's hometwon, while she was dressed  in female clothing. Although they were devoted and passinate about each other at that time, Zhu was already engaged with Ma Wencai, a man her parents had arranged for her to be married to. Depressed, Liang died in office as a county magistrate. On the way Zhu was to be married to Ma, whirlwinds prevented the wedding procession from escorting Zhu beyong Liang's tomb. Zhu left the procession to pay her respects for Liang. Liang's tomb split ionto it to join him. A pair of butterflies emerged from the tomb and flew away.

Music and theatrical renditions of the story are popular among the Chinese.

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