For thousands of years the Yangtze has helped shape Chinese society. The river sustains life, it provides income and food to nearly one billion people. It carries people to the ocean as the water flows east, it brings others inland as the winds blow west.
Above all, the Yangtze has shaped the culture. This culture includes occupations, such as farming, fishing, and even banditry, stories, especially to explain the names of every cliff and boulder, and old beliefs, including the usefulness of whistling and the danger of leaping fish.
This last piece of culture is very interesting. The old belief is that any fish that leaps into one's boat is a demon. To avoid bad luck, one must do the following; take the fish ashore, dig a hole, and bury it.