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Aulacese (Vietnamese) Chèo Traditional Opera: The Lullabies of Two Mothers - P1/2 (In Aulacese)    
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Today’s Enlightening will be presented in Aulacese (Vietnamese), with subtitles in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Thai.

Âu Lạc (Vietnam) is a nation that has a long-standing traditional culture. Aulacese music is very rich; since ancient times, there have been many musical instruments that move the soul with a wide variety of sounds like those of the copper drum, gong, lithophone, bamboo xylophone, cymbals and panpipe. In 2003, Elegant Music, a form of Huế royal music, was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an intangible cultural heritage of the world.

Âu Lạc’s music represents the unique features of each region, for example, Quan Họ folksongs in the North, Huế tunes in the Central, and cải lương (modern folk opera) in the South. In addition, there are many other forms of music, including hò (work songs), lý (village songs), ceremonial songs, Aulacese classical opera, chèo traditional opera, Hồ Quảng opera, and so on.

Indeed, music has been deeply instilled in the hearts of people in this beautiful country, and has been cultivated until this day. Northern Âu Lạc has a folk art called xẩm singing that is very popular in the northern plains and midland. This genre, in the old time, was performed by minstrel bands.

In a gathering with a small group of our Association members some years past, Supreme Master Ching Hai was inspired to spontaneously compose and sing in the xẩm style a poem she had written in her late 20s in Germany. The poem was originally written in English which the poet herself translated into Aulacese.

We now invite you to enjoy an excerpt of the xẩm singing “We Don't Live More Than One Hundred Years!” composed and sung by Supreme Master Ching Hai.

I mean tonight I was nuts! But so what: Aren’t the rest of us!... Otherwise how could we carry on living, For life isn’t worth a thing!?

You know that I am still in love with you! But that has nothing to do... I cannot please everybody, So I will please me! That doesn’t mean you are not right; We all have only one life!

On Enlightening Entertainment, Supreme Master Television is pleased to introduce different forms of arts from Âu Lạc (Vietnam), as well as from other countries in the world, in order to share the beauty and cultures of the peoples on our planet.

Chèo traditional opera is a folk theater art which originated from the regions near the mountains and from the plains of northern Âu Lạc. There are varied opinions about the beginning of chèo traditional opera: the earliest time is believed to be in 4th century BCE and the most recent is 14th century, at the end of the Trần dynasty. Chèo is a narrative genre of folk theater, recounting stories through a combination of music, singing and dance.

One of the unique features of chèo is a skillful portrayal of subtle gestures and movements. During festivals, people in the plains of northern Âu Lạc often look forward to watching chèo traditional opera. The lyrics are infused with folk poetry and proverbs; tragedies are usually counter-balanced with satires. Chèo is replete with the pure simplicity of the common folk, yet equally profound in meaning.

The chèo traditional opera “The Lullabies of Two Mothers” is about two boys born on the same day and how their development was shaped by their mothers through the advice embedded in their lullabies. The two lullabies fostered two contrasting personalities, leading their lives to inevitable endings.

We now invite you to enjoy part 1 of the chèo traditional opera “The Lullabies of Two Mothers,” written by playwrights Nhật Minh and Doãn Hoàng Giang. This opera is presented in 2 episodes, with performances by Thanh Nhàn as Queen, Hương Quế as Second Queen, Hà Quân as Prince Vương Tùng, Đình Hưng as Prince Vương Thảo, Thanh Hường as Ngân Hà, Nhật Điềm as Field Marshal, Anh Tuấn as Tiểu Quân, Thanh Hải as Warden, Quang Lâm as King, Quỳnh Mai as A Sa, and other artists.

Thank you for watching today’s Enlightening Entertainment. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television. Coming up is Words of Wisdom. May you and your family be blessed with peace and joy. Farewell for now.

Attention, everyone! Listen carefully! Listen well!

Listen carefully! Listen well!

Here comes the good news!

The Queen gave birth to a baby boy.

The Second Queen also gave birth to a baby boy.

Two princes have been born to the King. They are brilliant and handsome. Both are radiantly beautiful.

Who will later ascend to the throne?

Who will continue his family lineage?

What happy news!

I lull you with the words of Heaven and Earth. You’ll become wiser through life’s trials, through continuous rain and scorching sun. O child, remember your gentle mother’s words, that is to uphold righteousness and kindness unswervingly, and requite all love and affection fully. Offer to the world a thousand melodies, fragrant scent and sweet fruits.

O beloved son, sleep well. Grow up to seize the throne for yourself. One day presiding over the royal palace is better than many thousand lives living in poverty. Grow up fast, O child, to seize the throne.

Be careful, son! You’ve just stepped on a flower. Pick it up and re-plant, dear. Vương Tùng, listen to my advice: Flower is a precious product of Heaven and Earth, as a human is a wonder of Creation. You must cherish every blossom, every leaf, every human with lofty, magnanimous love. Seeing suffering, you must feel compassion. You must be sympathetic with the hardships of your fellow humans.

Vương Thảo! Why walk around it? Just trample on those flower beds to come here to me. Don’t be afraid of ruining the flowers that you tread softly. If you’re concerned for every leaf on the branch, how can you secure great achievements? Your ambition must be like the immense sky and sea. It must be the golden throne on high, the royal mantle that I have dreamt of for you.

Brother Vương Tùng!

Ngân Hà!

Brother Vương Tùng!

Ngân Hà! I have a feeling that you only have the words “Vương Tùng” on your lips.

No! You’re both my father’s students. I esteem you both equally.

No! I see it clearly in your eyes. So, the two brothers have but one young lady. Two princes have only one gentle miss. How do we resolve this? There must be a duel.

Then I surrender. I’ll concede this beautiful princess to you.

Concede me! What if I really am your beloved? You’ll give me up still? How terrible you are!

I don’t want a...

fratricidal strife.

Well, how about this? Let’s pretend that Ngân Hà is a princess. You and I are princes from neighboring countries, who come to ask for her hand. Do you agree?

That’s fine, I agree.

Oh, whose proposal should I accept? I can’t accept both, can I?

No! A girl can’t have two husbands. So brother Vương Tùng and I might have to duel. The winner will be king and will have..

The loser will have to go tend the buffalo and cut the grass. Agree?

Agree!

But, O brothers, it’s just for fun, okay?

We’re just having fun.

Let’s begin.

Pick up your sword, dear brother.

Brother Vương Tùng! So, you won. Brother Vương Thảo, you lost, all right? Now, one will become the king. The other will go tend the buffalo and cut the grass. Vương Tùng! Come to me.

Ngân Hà! (No!)

I’m the winner!

I lost!

How could you resist this maneuvering?

Vương Thảo! I’m defeated already.

Ngân Hà belongs to me, and the throne also belongs to me.

Vương Thảo!

Respected greetings, master.

Look up at me. Look straight into my eyes and listen to my question. Where did you learn that despicable back-stabbing move? What I did I teach you every day? Repeat to me.

O Father! We were just playing.

Be quiet! Speak!

Master has always taught: “When confronting his enemy, a gentleman still acts rightly and straightforwardly.”

How is Vương Tùng related to you?

We’re blood brothers. But, respectful teacher, this was just a game.

Yes, it was just our game.

Even in a game, people show their every quality: a pure and bright quality, and a vile quality.

But, master...

Vương Thảo!

Mother!

Our respectful greetings, Mother!

Stand up. Esteemed Field Marshal! I’m a mother who has failed to teach my son properly. Please pardon me.

Your Majesty, I just hope that His Highness fully understands the moral principles, so I had to resort to using strong words.

Your Majesty. Respected Field Marshal, Your Highness the Princes and gentle miss.

Bow to greet them, son.

Respectful greetings, Your Majesty and Your Excellency Field Marshal.

Warden! (Yes.) Why is it that you show up here discourteously, and who is the child you bring along?

Your Majesty, Your Excellency Field Marshal, do you recognize this child? He’s my son. His name is Tiểu Quân; he was born on the same day as the two princes. But he is an unfortunate child. His mother passed away right after giving birth to him, so I’ve been like a rooster raising his chick alone. That day, His Excellency Field Marshal, pitying a motherless child, offered monetary support for our livelihood.

Your Excellency, he’s now grown up. May he pursue swordsmanship under your patronage? I just want him to have a better life than me, a lifelong warden.

I find this child to be agile and intelligent. All right, I agree to let him join the two princes to practice swordsmanship.

Teach him to be filial to his father, grateful to his teacher, loyal to his country. That’s how you two repay my favor.

We’re very grateful, Your Excellency.

Now students! Listen! From this day on, Vương Tùng is the eldest brother.

Yes.

Vương Thảo is the second brother.

Yes.

Tiểu Quân is the third brother. (Yes.) And Ngân Hà is the youngest sister. (Yes.) You should treat one another as flesh and blood, all right?

Yes, we’ll remember your words.

Brothers and sisters are like bodily parts. Love one another wholeheartedly. Share your happiness. Show kindness to comfort lonely hearts. Hold a constant love for one another lifelong. Clouds may drift on, the world endures. Stick together in hardship, separate not in poverty. Though the world is ungrateful, keep your vow intact.

Brotherly affection changes not through rain and shine. Gratitude fades not in time of perils. Though life is still difficult, our hearts are steadfast through storms. We’ll engrave our sacred vow on gold and stone.

Hey kid!

Yes, Second Brother. I’m here.

Say it again!

I’m present, Second Brother.

I told you to say it again. Who allowed you to address me as Second Brother? You should know your place. Listen to my question: Who am I?

You’re Prince Vương Thảo, His Majesty’s son.

And who are you?

I’m Tiểu Quân, the warden’s son.

Then how dare you call me Second Brother? I’m no brother to you.

It’s our master’s instruction; otherwise, I wouldn’t dare.

You and I are only brothers in front of him. Off school, you’re just a servant. Even your father is my servant, much less you. Understand?

Yes, I understand.

Walk! (Yes.) Stop! Hold up the wood stick for me to practice fencing.

Your Highness is holding an iron sword, and I’m holding this wood stick. How can I ward off?

You can’t? Even so, you must! Take this!

Oh, Your Highness!

On guard!

O Your Highness, I’m so much in pain, I could die. All humans’ flesh and skin are the same. How can a broken branch or a cut flower not be hurt? Whose flesh and skin would feel no pain, O God? Your Highness, I beg you! How can a broken branch or a cut flower not be hurt? Your Highness, I beg you!

Be quiet!

O Your Highness, I’m so much in pain, I could die.

It’s nothing and you moan like death is near. What a coward!

Yes, I’m a coward.

If you pursue swordsmanship, you must learn endurance.

Vương Thảo! O God, Tiểu Quân! How come?

O God, how did you get injured like this?

What happened?

Nothing at all. He and I were just practicing fencing.

I practiced to defend Prince Vương Thảo’s attack.

Vương Thảo! It’s just practicing, and you treated Tiểu Quân like this?

Practice should be like real, so that in battle, one can destroy his enemy.

Tiểu Quân, is it very painful? Ngân Hà! (Yes.) Please apply medicine and dress his wound. (Yes.)

The guy is only pretending!

Vương Thảo! These are such horrible cuts, and your said that Tiểu Quân is pretending?

What a fake weeper!

O Tiểu Quân, tell me what happened.

Your Highness... I...

Don’t address me that way. What did our teacher say? We should treat one another as siblings.

Your Highness, but...

You’re saying it again! I’m your elder brother.

Yes, you allow me to address you as such. But Prince Vương Thảo wouldn’t let me. He often tells me, “You’re the warden’s son, a dirt poor person of the lowest class. How dare you be my brother!”

Just ignore him. He’s used to being domineering and mean. But brother Vương Tùng and I still consider you our loved one. You’re my elder brother. There’s no social rank that separates us. Now, do you feel better?

I do, noble lady.

It’s not right! Brother Tiểu Quân! Let me hear it again. Who am I to you?

You’re a noble lady.

Incorrect! Say again, what am I to you?

Ngân Hà, you’re my younger sister.

That’s right!

His Majesty just arrived. Please welcome and greet him.

Where are the royal maids? Prepare to greet His Majesty upon his arrival. (Yes.)

Long live Your Majesty!

Protocols waived.

I respectfully wish Your Majesty longevity.

My beloved Queen, stand up. Why observe formal etiquette with me?

Which palace have you indulged at lately to leave me all alone in my chamber these past few months?

O sweet Queen, there is no other palace. I’ve been so occupied in national affairs. Last night, seeing myself in the mirror, I realized that I’m already in the fading twilight of life. I suddenly felt heavy-hearted, thus I came here to ask my Queen... my Second Queen, and see how the children are doing to plan for the future.

What else is there to plan for? That golden throne is readily reserved for Vương Tùng, the Queen’s son.

Beloved Queen!

And me, being a lowly second queen, I must accept it.

O sweetheart!

Alas! How can humans resist what is predestined by Heaven?

Beloved Queen!

My ill fate, I must bear it. O Your Majesty! Please don’t be concerned.

Sweetheart!

Why bother to pity a woman? It’s my fate. I just feel sorry for myself.

I’ve always loved and missed you, so you shouldn’t sorrow. I blame myself for being so indifferent. How do I manage worldly affairs? O sweetheart, why are you crying? Listen to me! Please stop crying. But I haven’t yet made the decision whether it’ll be the first son, the second son, the Queen’s son or Second Queen’s son. Everything rests upon me. Don’t worry, dear. Oh, I haven’t seen you for a few moons already, is that right? I really felt so uneasy to let you spend lonely nights.

I couldn’t sleep well for several months straight, sadly waiting for my beloved in my forlorn chamber.

O dearest! I’m here already. Please don’t feel bitter.

Your Majesty!

I’ll stay here to keep you company and happy tonight.

O Your Majesty!

Darling!

Your Majesty!

My dearest!

Royal maids! Present heated ginseng for His Majesty. (Yes.)

Oh! Sweetheart!

Your Majesty!

Your Majesty!

My love!

Your Majesty!

O master, we were having fun. Why did you leave?

Fun? I don’t care a bit. I couldn’t stand playing with that son of a commoner.

Then you’re wrong. Without commoners, where would kings and lords come from? Without the multitude, who is there to extol the king? Without the water, what will support the boat? And without farmers, even kings would be sitting there starving!

Insolent! You’d better be careful when talking to me.

Yes, yes. What is this? The old man’s royal mantle! Since it’s here, I’ll try it on for a little bit.

Goodness, O master!

To see if I deserve to be a king.

O master, please! It’s impossible.

Clown! (Yes.) Help me!

But please hurry up, master!

Take a look at me!

O master, who wouldn’t look good with this mantle on? Even those as ugly as ghosts would look handsome and dignified. Even a loser or a weakling would look like a hero.

O court officials! (Yes.) Convey my order: (Yes.) Have lanterns and flowers decorated everywhere. Order everyone to sing and exalt the King.

Order obeyed! O God! Where are the master and lady of the house? He’s eating big portions of food, leaving the poor starving to death.

What did you say?

Nothing.

You dared sing to make fun of the one on the high throne!

No, I didn’t!

Imperial guards! (Yes.) Chop his head off and display his dead body as an example for all!

Order obeyed! Behead, behead, behead...

Vương Thảo!

Respectful greetings, Mother.

You’re dismissed.

Yes, with your permission, Your Majesty.

Vương Thảo! (Yes.) You crave to wear that royal mantle?

Yes, Mother...

I’ll help you obtain the royal mantle.

What did you say?

You should remember: Ngân Hà loves Vương Tùng because of the throne. So if you want to have her, you must...

I must what, Mother?

You must not be empty-handed.

I understand. It means I must be the victor, by all means.

Exactly! I’ll help you so that you won’t be an empty-handed person. So you have to take action. Any moment of delay and your life is insecure and shaky.

You can help me then.

Even I have to jump into the fire to help you, I’d be willing.

Well then... Listen to what I’ll tell you, Mother. I told Vương Tùng to come here to practice fencing. You only need to...

O God! Must we do that?

Mother! You just need to bear a little pain.

But I...

Mother! Didn’t you just tell me even if you must jump into the fire, you’d still do it?

O Vương Thảo, I’m afraid...

Look, Vương Tùng is coming. Please help me, Mother.

Just do as you plan. (Yes.)

Vương Thảo!

Brother Vương Tùng!

Respectful greetings, Mother.

Vương Tùng, stand up, son. Stand up, dear! Let me take a look at you. Handsome, very handsome! I heard the Field Marshal praising you so much. I wish that my Vương Thảo can be like you.

Respectful Mother, Thảo studies very well. He’s not inferior to me at all.

You’re humble so you’re just saying that, but my Vương Thảo has to learn a lot from you.

Mother...

Vương Thảo, ask your elder brother to show you the fencing moves your teacher has taught him.

Yes, please teach me the additional lessons you have learned.

All right!

That’s right! Stay here and show your younger brother to practice fencing. Let me go inside to prepare ginseng tea for you two.

I’m grateful, Mother.

All right, teach me now.

Vương Thảo! Our teacher taught that the apricot flower movements must be gentle and flexible.

The apricot flower movements must be gentle and flexible.

Like a butterfly hovering, like the breeze blowing in the veranda.

Like a butterfly hovering, like the breeze blowing in the veranda.

All right, let’s begin.

Vương Thảo! Be careful, dear.

Assassin! Guards...

Your Majesty, what is the matter?

Arrest Vương Tùng immediately. He’s the assassin.

Your Majesty, I’ll die for sure!

Second Queen!

I didn’t expect it to end up like this.

O God, why did this happen?

Didn’t you see, Your Majesty? Vương Tùng’s sword is stained with blood.

What?

O Vương Tùng! I love you even more than Vương Thảo. What wrong have I done that you have the heart to do this?

O God! How could such a thing happen? Summon the Queen here! Vương Thảo! (Yes.) Tell me what’s going on.

Respectful Royal Father! I was practicing fencing with brother Vương Tùng. Right when Mother brought the ginseng tea out for us, he brandished his sword and struck her again and again.

My God! Dearest Queen!

Your Majesty!

Vương Thảo! That’s not true! It wasn’t like that!

O brother Vương Tùng! What did I do wrong that you wanted to make me an orphan for life?

Vương Tùng!

Vương Thảo!

Vương Tùng!

Mother!

Is it true, son?

No! This tragedy is inconceivable.

Your Majesty!

My dearest!

Mother, it wasn’t like that. I didn’t expect it was like a nightmare that drove the movement of the sword. Who knows the truth behind this? O wise Heaven, please look into this injustice. Heaven and Earth are the witnesses.

Stop it! Ungrateful child!

Why are you standing there quietly all this time? What did you teach him that he became such an impious son?

Your Majesty, this must be a misunderstanding.

What did you say?

That is true, Father! I don’t believe that brother Vương Tùng is wicked. He’s a gentle and kind-hearted person. How come injustice befalls his life?

If everyone thinks that Vương Tùng was wrongly accused, then I must be the deceitful one. Please just take my life. Don’t waste your time interrogating! As a lowly Second Queen, I’ll have to endure it.

All right, my dear.

Your Majesty. I’m unfortunate to have given birth to a foolish child. Allow me to take all punishments in exchange for my son’s life.

No, Mother! If I sin, I’d like to serve the sentence. I can’t be so unfilial and inhumane to let you bear the punishment for me.

Stop it! Don’t weep and plead anymore to irritate my ears. Ungrateful Vương Tùng! You’re a beast, so you should go live in the jungle with the wild.

Royal Father!

Your Majesty!

Your Majesty.

Mother!

Your Majesty, I don’t believe that brother Vương Tùng is cruel. He’s caught in a bad retribution, as the world is still full of treacherous plots. Your Majesty, I don’t believe that brother Vương Tùng is wicked. He wouldn’t hurt a leaf on the tree, how would he want to harm Her Majesty Second Queen?

Ngân Hà! If you said so, then my mother must be a dishonest person? My mother wrongly accuses brother Vương Tùng to harm him?

Your Majesty!

If today I can’t manage my family, how am I able to take care of national affairs? I hereby entrust the trial of Vương Tùng upon Second Queen.

Your Majesty!

Mother!

Your Majesty, I wouldn’t dare do so.

O dearest, you’re the injured one, so you should be the one to judge your offender.

Royal Father has permitted you already. Just pass the judgment, Mother.

Well then... I shall obey Your Majesty’s wish.

Go ahead, my dear!

Listen, everyone. I spare Vương Tùng the death penalty.

I’m very grateful, Your Majesty.

Wait! I ask only to cut off his two arms and send him to the jungle.

Vương Tùng!

O God! Losing both arms isn’t any different than a death sentence. And living in the jungle, how will he be able to survive from the wild beasts?

Where is the warden?

I’m present.

Imprison the Queen in the isolated palace. Cut off Vương Tùng’s arms to make an example for everyone. Bring his two arms back for me to confirm. Is it clear?

Order obeyed!

Mother!

Vương Tùng!

Listen! (Yes.) Execute the order exactly!

Yes.

O Heaven, know you not this agonizing pain? O dark clouds cover a sky shrouded by wind and rain. Blue Heaven, know you not our anguish?

You may go back. (Yes.) Go back! I’ll send Prince Vương Tùng’s two arms back to the court. O Your Highness! Are you exhausted? Please sit down here for a little rest.

Elder, don’t call me Prince. I’m no longer anybody, just a criminal awaiting the punishment.

No, Your Highness is always a Prince to me.

Elder!

You’re being wrongly accused. A net set out, a trap dropped on your head. Alas, I can’t understand the ungratefulness in the world. It’s just for a little power that family members destroy one another. What an ungracious and deceitful world! People can be so wicked and merciless! Why do they harm even loved ones? How tormented I am, O Prince!

Elder!

Why must an upright and honest person endure injustice, O Heaven?

O Elder! I’ve already accepted my tragic fate. Please carry out the punishment. Cut off my two arms to give to the one who gave the order.

What? I have to sever your arms? O God! Why this dreadful moment?
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