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"Bagan” is a shortened version of Ba-Gang from one of the most popular legends in Vietnamese folklore “Tui Ba-gang”. (Tui means bag in Vietnamese. Ba means three and Gang is a traditional measurement between thumb and forefinger). The story tells of a man that noticed a bird eating fruit from his tree one day and he said to the bird, “I will let you eat from my tree if you can give me something in return”. The bird agreed and offered to carry him to a cave where there was an endless amount of gold. The man was excited and said, let me get my Ba-gang bag to carry the gold. The man only carried enough gold on each trip that could fit in the ba-gang bag. He only took what he and the bird could carry for the flight home, which was just enough to pay for a comfortable, but not extravagant life. The man was very happy, but his brother became jealous and said it wasn’t fair. The humble man offered to switch places with him and give up his wealthy & comfortable life so his brother could be happy too. His brother however became greedy and took more gold than the Ba-gang bag could carry. The bird told him to drop some gold in the sea on the way back so he could carry them both home. The brother refused to drop any gold and so they both crashed into the ocean and passed away. The moral of the story is to teach children the importance of not being greedy and to travel smart, never pack more than your bag can carry.
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The Bagan Bag (L)
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