Trends and Buzz
Posted by Joel Martinsen on Thursday, June 29, 2006 at 3:45 AM
Latest hare-brained scheme to make the leap from the Internet to print: updating the Chinese zodiac.
Forced retirement for these unlucky creatures.
Led by Huashang Morning Post, Chinese print media reported yesterday on an online proposal to drop the rat, snake, rooster, and pig from the roster of 12 zodiac animals, and to replace them with the lion, fish, phoenix, and crane.
The reasoning in the original forum post is that rats eat grain stores and chew clothing, snakes carry a bad connotation, pigs are lazy, and "rooster" has the same pronunciation as "famine." The proposed replacements have more pleasant connotations - the lion is the king of beasts, the phoenix carries good luck, the crane represents long-life, and the fish, of course, is a popular New Year's symbol of plenty.
Swapping out several animals also has the potential to cut down on superstition-related troubles. With the Year of the Rooster changed to Year of the Phoenix, for example, there would no longer be any problem with people born in that year getting married or having children in the Year of the Monkey, a serious no-no according to various folk sayings.
Links and Sources
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Caroline W on Big in China
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.