The Green Cap


Get ready for memes.

Green reminds people of nature, in that almost every plant you see is green. Sometimes it gets people upset for bringing back the bad memories of stock price fall. In China, green can also drive people mad, but in a completely different way. In fact, the color green can remind people of being cheated by their significant others. To understand this better, we need to start from the word lǜ màozi (绿帽子, green cap).

Long, long ago there was a couple. The husband was a rich merchant who took business trips often, and the wife was charming yet a bit flirtatious. The wife was having an affair with a vendor. Every time her husband went away, she would invite the vendor to her house and spend some nights together. One day, the husband went out hunting, but the vendor mistook it for a business trip and went to the wife eagerly. To his surprise, the husband came back at night; the vendor had no choice but to hide under the bed in a hurry. To avoid an event like that appearing again, the wife made a green cap for her husband, telling him to ”Wear it before you go on business trips so that you’ll be warm and safe from the sand blown by the wind.” Thanks to this invention, the vendor knew when the husband was away so that he can enjoy being together with the wife.

Nowadays memes of the green cap are popular among young Chinese. Here’s a person on the picture with a green cap on his head, saying things related to forgiveness. They are used to make fun of people who are betrayed by their significant others but still choose to forgive them.

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