Abstract: “What is a gourd? Some will say that it is a tool to draw water, some regard it as a totem of good luck, and some others may think it is a tea set...”
Husen, an African young man, comes to Guangzhou Shennong Caotang Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine with this question. Will he achieve a satisfying answer there? If you are interested, please click the link below:
Gourd has the implication of "good luck, fortune and health"
The allusion of "gourd" should come from Hou Han Shu. In the Eastern Han Dynasty, a man named Fei Zhangfang wanted to learn medical skills to treat diseases. On one occasion he met in the street an old man of great skill in medicine. Any patient who had taken one of his medicines could see an immediate effect. Fei would like to take the old man as his master. He followed the old man quietly. At last, the old man turned into smoke and got into a gourd hanging on the wall of a restaurant. The next day, Fei ordered a feast near the gourd in the restaurant and waited for the old man to come out. Sure enough, in a short time the old man jumped out of the gourd, Fei immediately kowtowed and knelt down, asking for guiding. Seeing Fei’s sincerity, the old man accepted him as an apprentice. Years later, in memory of the old man, Fei always hang a gourd on the body when practising medicine. Thus,the say of “Xuan Hu Ji Shi(hang a gourd while practising medicine to help patients)”came. Therefore, the later generations called the people who sold medicine or practiced medicine "Xuan Hu(hang a gourd)", called the behaviors “Xuan Hu Ji Shi”, used the word “Xuan Hu Zhi Xi” to congratulate those who opened a clinic.
Up to now, there are still many practitioners hanging gourds in the clinic as a sign of practicing medicine, which is also used by many pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies.
GPHL and its Gourd Culture
The pronunciation of gourd is similar to "fortune". It has a small mouth and a big belly, implying wealth gathering and vigorous development. Thus,a folk says that "putting a gourd on the table brings lasting wealth".
In 1980, the total sales revenue of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings Limited(GPHL) was only 12 million yuan, while in 1987, it reached 120 million yuan. In 2018, it was nearly 120 billion yuan, 10,000 times that of what it was in 1980, ranking the first in the "top 100 pharmaceutical companies in China" for seven consecutive years. GPHL has developed into the largest pharmaceutical industrial enterprise group in China from a small scale pharmaceutical enterprise with its subsidiaries scattered and location in the very south of China , which is the best embodiment of its fortune culture.
GPHL and its Health Culture
Gourd represents exuberant vitality, healthy, longevity, as well as having a lot of children and happiness. GPHL has longevity genes. It owns 12 Chinese time-honored brands, among which 10 are over 100 years old. The world's first mechanism for recycling (free replacement) of expired medicines for families has been maintained for 15 consecutive years, with more than 1,500 tons of expired medicines recovered and more than 600 million people provided the service. GPHL’s Shennong Caotang Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Wang Lao Ji Museum, the Chen Li Ji Museum, and the Cai Zhi Lin Museum provide scientific knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine and popularize health culture for countless tourists every year.
In 2018, taking "gourd filled with GPHL’s medicine" as the design concept, GPHL made a batch of gourds engraved with GPHL’s logo, enterprise concept, the patterns of 12 China time-honored brands implying longevity, the patterns of Shennong and Bagua implying good fortune and health. The gourds were stuffed with GPHL’s famous and high-quality products. Carrying the profound meaning of "auspicious, fortune and health", the gourds have been given to famous people from all walks of life.
At present, GPHL is dedicated in digging gourd culture, using Shennong Caotang Museum of Traditional Chinese Medicine as its window, to develop cultural and creative products of gourd, making the concept of "gourd filled with GPHL’s medicine " accepted by the public. GPHL is trying its best to materialize and carry forward its gourd culture in order to reduce medical costs and improve the public’s health.