According to Greek mythology and folklore, a hero (male or female) usually fulfills the definitions of what is considered good and noble in the originating culture. Normally the willingness to sacrifice the self for the greater good is seen as the most important defining characteristic of a hero.
China, in its age old history has created some of the finest national heroes of the time and the country is still the cradle of numerous brave hearts who can be rightly called national heroes . All of them embody the nation's identity as a whole.
Some of the renowned names of national heroes are given below:
Bao Gong (Bao Zheng)
Bao Gong- highly admired for his strictness in upholding justice and opposing corruption even when the wrongdoer is powerful.
Also known as Bao Zheng , Bao Gong was born in April 999 A.D . in the present Feidong Country near Hefei City . A senior official of the northern Song Dynasty , he eulogized the dynasty in Chinese literary works in many forms throughout the ages. His black face and a crescent-shaped scar on his forehead has been his trade mark just like his stance against corruption among the government officials at the time. As a result of his campaign 30 high officials were dismissed for corruption, bribery or dereliction of duty. Bao Zheng died in 1062.
Ban Chao- Born in 32 A.D., Ban Chao was a highly acclaimed diplomat and military figure of the Han Dynasty.
In 73 A.D ., he led a force of 36 troops to the Western Regions and defeated Xiongnu after which the emperor appointed him as the Division Commander . His honorable actions in Northern Xiongnu where he defeated all the kingdoms and finally brought the entire Western Regions under the Han Dynasty , gained him a promotion to the post of Protector General . Since then Ban Chao was known as General Ban Chao . He spent 31 years fighting internal unrest and pacifying enemies of the Han Dynasty and also saw to the free flow of goods along the Silk Road . He died in 102 A.D.
Da Yu- legendary first Chinese monarch of the Xia Dynasty, best remembered for teaching people flood control techniques to tame China's rivers and lakes.
Identified as one of The Three August Ones and the Five Emperors , he took up researching and finding ways to control flood. The learned techniques were effectively applied when a dam was conceived and built by the monarch. It turned out to be success. Remembered as an example of perseverance and determination, he is the perfect valued civil servant of his time.
Lin Zexu- an official loyal to the Daoguang Emperor of China, he was the most famous for his active fight against foreign-imported opium.
Born in August 30, 1785 in the Fujian Province , he was a fearsome diplomat. Sent by the British, he went to Guangdong to stop the import of opium prior to the First Opium War in 1838 . The Republic of China in Taiwan celebrates 3 rd June as Anti-Smoking Day, as this was the day when Lin confiscated and burned the crates of opium.
Xuanzang- Founder of the Idealistic School , he translated many Buddhist canons and mastered Buddhist doctrines and principles, thus accruing an important position in the Buddhist history.
Xuanzang is also known as Tang Seng. He was popularized through Xi You Ji , an ancient Chinese mythological novel (Journey to the West or The Monkey King) based on his true story. Traveling all the way to India he read original Buddhist scriptures and even Sacred Books from India.
Some other heroes of the time are Yue Fei, Zhang Qian and Zhang He.
Among the modern heroes are:
Mao Zedong- one of the most important figures in modern world history, a great revolutionary leader whose thought is the highest expression of Marxism .
Born on December 26, 1893 , he was Chinese Marxist military and political leader and a writer who lead the Communist Party of China to victory in the Civil War , leading to the establishment of the People's Republic of China on October 1, 1949 . Also a respected poet and a calligrapher, he died on September 9, 1976 .
Yang Liwei- an astronaut and People's Republic of China's first man in outer space.
Selected as an astronaut aspirant in 1998 , he was chosen from among 14 other Chinese astronauts to fly on China's first manned space mission. On October 15, 2003 , he was launched into outer space aboard his Shenzhou 5 spacecraft atop a Long March 2F rocket. After completing 14 orbits he landed on Earth's surface on 16 th October, 2003.
Fei Junlong- an astronaut piloting Shenzhou VI, a PLA Air Force PLAAF pilot, flight trainer and technology inspector.
Born in May 1966 , Fei got enrolled in China's Air Force in 1982 . At the age of 32, while taking a trail flight, his craft ran out of fuel, but he kept a cool head and managed to pilot back the plane to the airport. His outstanding skill and calm mindset won him a special grade.
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