Poems of Hồ Xuân Hương : 𠶆咹𦺓 - Offering betel

Title:𠶆咹𦺓 - Offering betel
A piece of nut and a bit of leaf.
Here, Xuân Hương has smeared it.
If love is fated, you’ll chew it red.
Lime won’t stay while, not leaf, green.
Notes:Mostly rural people chew betel, Which is a combination of a piece of areca palm nut and a leaf of the betel tree rolled into a thin cylinder and smeared with lime paste. The effect is mildly stimulating and narcotic. Contact with the saliva causes the mouth to fill with a bright red juice. The combination of these natural elements and their transformation into the stimulating red juice are probably the source of the betel chique, or “chaw”, as symbol of marriage and true love. In an old custom, brides offer their grooms a chique of betel. Line three holds a special Vietnamsese notion, that of a man and woman “having duyên”. Duyên not only means that they are right for each other, but that their love is actually fated, inevitable, that they have come together finally after all their previous lives. In its root, duyên means “to join” or “glue together”.