Recently, I have been watching this Chinese drama titled ‘Singing All Along’ (秀丽江山之长歌行) produced by and starred by Ruby Lin. Although I only started around episode 18 or so because my parents were watching it, I found myself slowly engrossed in it as well.
At its core, it is a romance period drama set in the midst of a chaotic world in 1st century imperial China. Hence, there are a lot of fighting and military jargon as well as political conflicts. The characters are mostly centered around the Imperial College students who has the same goal to revive the Han Dynasty and make the world peaceful again. Here, we are introduced to some of the powerful / important / noble families such as the Yin and Deng families and the Liu clan ( direct descendants of Emperor Gaozu ) who seem to exist in every province.
Our leading male character is Liu Xiu ( court name Wenshu ), the simple peasant who slowly rose to be a powerful figure due to circumstances and necessity whereas our leading female character is Yin Li Hua ( court name Yin Ji ), a strong personality with a deep interest in martial arts, swordplay and military tactics. Both of them are childhood sweethearts who literally went through thick and thin and sacrificed a lot before they can be together. From them, I learned a little bit about what it means to truly love someone. No matter what happened, they always have faith in each other and understand each others intentions although the world may not. Most importantly, they only have eyes for each other against all odds. In a world filled with so many distractions, wealth and beauty, it is easy to be swayed. But not our favorite couple, whose famous line in the series “If I were to marry, I will only marry Yin Li Hua” becomes a recurring reminder and oath of Liu Xiu’s love for Li Hua.Their love story can probably be summed up as “Love endures”.
Besides them, love is also represented in multiple facets via the other supporting characters. One of the other major love theme is familial love. This is represented much so by Li Hua’s half elder brother, Yin Shi. Bearing the sole responsibility as the male patriarch of the Yin family after his father’s death, Yin Shi has been unwavering in preserving the family’s dignity and protecting his family members. His task is super challenging and though we may get annoyed with him at times for his strictness, we really appreciate his efforts and help in supporting Li Hua all the way. He even sacrificed his own happiness for the sake of maintaining peaceful relations between the Yin and Deng family. He is one elder brother whom we all admire and can really count on. T_T
Another love theme which should be mentioned is unconditional love. This is probably one of the most sincere love one can ever give to another. It is not about getting what you want, or having your feelings reciprocated. It is about giving your all to ensure that your loved one is safe and happy. This is demonstrated by Li Tong ( court name Ciyuan ), who sees the good in Liu Boji ( Liu Xiu’s younger sister )and loves her despite her petty and childish behavior. He is always patient with her and treats her with loving kindness, and would willingly give up his life for her. His sincerity and devotion is truly admirable and incomparable.
Besides love values, I also learn quite a few other things. For instance, the Chinese values. Throughout the drama, the characters can roughly be divided into two kinds: The honorable and the dishonorable ones. The honorable characters are usually morally upright and virtuous in their thought, speech and conduct. On the other hand, the dishonorable characters tend to be shifty, scheming and scandalous. Part of the internal conflicts faced by the honorable characters are usually caused by their responsibility to protect the family/clan’s pride and to focus on their goal in achieving world peace. Furthermore, being respectful and loyal to one’s parents, elders, authorities and the emperor is like an internal compass drilled into their very bones. Ranks, titles and relations play an important role in upgrading or degrading one’s status in society as well. This can be acquired via promotion or via marriage. This is also the first time I watch a coming-of-age ceremony where one is formally acknowledged as an adult and is given a court name ( secondary name ). Therefore, it is quite fun learning the various characters’ real names and court names. An honorable mention goes to Feng Yi ( court name Gong Sun – i think ). He is the most reliable and well-respected men / general among all. Ever loyal and kind, his gentle ways and forthright attitude makes him truly a rare gem. 🙂
Last but not least, I slowly picked up some Chinese characters. While I listened and read the English subtitles, my eyes glossed over the Chinese subtitles as well. I try to recognize some of the Chinese characters and remember them whenever I can. The opening and ending song are powerful ballads which are pleasant to my ears. Thankfully, the meaning of every lyric is shown as well though I do not quite understand some of its poetical lines. However, it is still a pleasure to slowly consider the significance of the metaphors used.
Overall, it is a captivating drama which does not waste time and scenes. Every character mentioned has a specific role and every line delivers a point. Plus points for everyone looking so youthful despite their actual age being over 30!!! I get to see another Kazakh ethnic lady again, with the role of Ding Rou played by her. Though this is only a fictional tale based on a novel, I enjoyed the action, thriller scenes and touching moments. Can’t wait to finish it!