journey to Viet Nam- legend
This legend has been studied by Vietnamese children for years and years during their very first days of primary school. Students are expected to learn the story by heart — memorized— as the legends of ancestors.

Land of the Blue Dragon

Today, many people remember thinking that the story was odd— an unusual birth where Au Co laid eggs which became baby boys. While many people have heard of twins or triplets, Au Co produced one hundred babies! The story has always been possessed as a treasure; when children questioned how could Mother Au Co lay so many eggs and WAS she a fairy, teachers always said she was one in every Vietnamese’s heart.
Today, many Vietnamese consider themselves children of Au Co— living in the plain fields growing rice and corn.

"Half of you," said the king, "will accompany your mother to the mountains and half of you will live beside the sea with me."

Shortly after the creation of the earth and the sky, people settled in the deltas of the Hong Ha river in northern Vietnam. Then as now, most people lived by fishing and harvesting rice. They called their land Lac Viet.

One day, a god by the name of Lac Long Quan appeared in the country of Lac Viet. His father, King Duong Vuong, was a mountain god and his mother, Ho Dong Dinh, was a water goddess. Not only was Ho Dong Dinh a powerful goddess, she also had the ability to transform herself into a sea dragon. Her son had inherited these magical powers.

One day, as Lac Long Quan wandered through the land of Lac Viet, he felt a dark shadow fall across the sun. He looked up to see a monstrous black bird. As Lac Long Quan watched, this Demon Bird swooped down and seized a fragile white crane, which had been resting nearby. Lac Long Quan grabbed a rock and hurled it at the Demon Bird, causing it to lose its grip on the crane. But the Demon Bird soon recovered and, furious, turned to attack Lac Long Quan. The Demon Bird transformed itself into a giant tiger and pounced on the young god. The fight was bitter, but eventually, Lac Long Quan gained the upper hand. After killing the ferocious beast he set off in search of the injured crane.

The crane was stunned but not badly hurt. As Lac Long Quan drew near, it awoke, and in a flutter of white feathers, was transformed into its true form—that of a beautiful fairy named Au Co. Lac Long Quan was stunned by the young woman’s beauty. "Will you be my wife?" he stammered.

Au Co agreed and they were married. In the middle of a lush garden, inhabited by many species of animals, they built a stilt house. Their happiness was complete when, a year later, Au Co gave birth. She did not bear a child, but rather a golden pouch, which looked like a giant flower and contained one hundred eggs. Each egg hatched to reveal a perfect baby boy.

Legend continues

Ao Dai      Recipe

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