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(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Seong Yeon-jae = The recent KBS epic drama Goryeo Khitan War is very popular.

Many viewers say that through the drama, they once again feel the forgotten Goryeo and the dedication of their ancestors who tried to protect it.

But where did the Khitan we fought so desperately go?

The only trace that can be found today is the name of Cathay Pacific Airways, which is based in Hong Kong.

Not many people know that Cathay is derived from the word Khitan (契丹).

Marco Polo referred to North China as Cathai in his Visits to the East.

Marco Polo was born as the son of a trader based in Venice, Italy.

Drama ‘Goryeo Khitan War’ [KBS 제공. 재판매 및 DB 금지]

Having traveled throughout Asia for 25 years, he wrote this book based on his experiences.

He referred to North China as Cathai in his Record of Visits to the East.

The Khitans, who once ruled China, were long called Khitai, Khitan, or Cathai, and these names meant China in the West.

It is said that at the time Marco Polo was active, there was no concept of one China.

Marco Polo called South China ‘Manzi’.

During the Greek and Roman times, the area producing silk was called ‘Seres’.

In fact, it has not been that long since the English name ‘China’, which refers to China, came into common use.

The name China began to be used after the unification of the Ming Dynasty.

The name China is said to have been taken from the first unified dynasty, the Jin Dynasty.

However, until much later, names such as Kitai and Katai were used in Europe.

The Khitan people are a people who conquered northern China and founded Liao (916-1125).

In 1125, the Khitans were pushed out to Central Asia, including Kyrgyzstan, by the power of the Jin Dynasty and declined.

In 1946, American Roy Farrell and Australian Sidney Cancho founded an airline in Hong Kong with a single Douglas DC-3 aircraft nicknamed ‘Betsy’.

Cathay Pacific's first passenger plane DC-3, nicknamed 'Betsy'[캐세이퍼시픽항공 제공]

This airline chose the word Cathay, which has its origins in ‘Cathay’ rather than China, as a name to mean China, and established itself as a premium airline.

What’s interesting is that the name of Cathay’s mileage program is Marco Polo.

Cathay Pacific’s mileage is not the SkyTeam or Star Alliance we are familiar with, but Asia Miles.

A Cathay Pacific Airline official said, “It is true that Cathay Pacific is receiving attention thanks to the recent drama,” and added, “But it has absolutely nothing to do with the Khitan people.”

polpori@yna.co.kr

Report to KakaoTalk okjebo 2024/02/17 11:00 Sent

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