Rumor has it, Kongming, the famous chancellor of the state of Shu Han in the Three kingdoms period, had married a woman with unpleasant appearance named Huang Yueying. Nevertheless, there were no specific records about her life in Chinese history and her name might just be a fictional invention of some romantic historians. The common viva voce regarding this story is that Kongming had compared attractive women with the sweetness of wine and unattractive women with the bitterness of tea. One would deceive your mind and one would enlighten it.

Personally, I cannot agree more with the idea mentioned above. First of all, there were no persuasive historical evidences to support the existence of the wife of Kongming. In addition, her ugliness was described unreasonably as "yellow-haired" and "dark-skinned", weird characteristics which hardly belonged to typical Asian women. We cannot assure that whether historians had negatively exacerbated her disadvantaged features or not. Therefore, the sustainability and reliability of this story are not withstanding.

Furthermore, the common belief that beauty and intelligence are mutually exclusive characteristics is nothing more than an old fashioned gender-based discrimination. Either to lure a man in fascinating relationship or accompany him in important assignments, a woman should have certain remarkable abilities such as logical and strategic thinking, clever diplomacy and so on. In other words, either to make wine from rice or tea from leaves, it is an elaborate process with many complicated steps to follow. Hence, wine and tea have their distinctive places on human life and so do beauty and intelligence.

In short, it requires the specific occasions, venues and environments to fully enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of tea. It also depends on the specific person who chose to immerse himself in the passionate flavor of wine or stay awake with sharp aroma of tea. This would be and always be particular choices between two equal things and no general answer is absolutely correct.




Published by Khanh Hoa Vo Thi