Why this topic today?? Well, just because there were a couple of things that I observed (here in HK) and wanted to find out about them, and thought it might just make a good read.
So, it’s the first day of shifting to the new home here in Hong Kong, and going in the elevator of the new complex I observe, there is no floor no 4, or 5, or 13 (and a couple of more too). During early this year, I was also told that Chinese people don’t clean their houses on the Chinese New Year (CNY) day (better finish all the cleaning and stuff a day before). And also while giving out ‘Lai See’ (it is a monetary gift which is handed out during celebrations and happy occasions), always put ‘even’ amount of money in it and never ‘odd’.
Hong Kong is one of the most superstitious countries in the world. Where you’ll see so many license plates with owner’s lucky numbers or digits (and so much money is spent on it); where it is completely normal to pay out a street hawker to find your lucky phone number; where buildings do not have floor numbers 4/or 5/or 13 and so on; where after every CNY a lion dance troupe is called by the shopping centers for chasing out the bad luck of last year.
Everybody hates the number 4 majorly because it sounds like the word for ‘death’ in Chinese. ‘8’ and ‘6’ are the most favored numbers as they sound more like words for fortune and success respectively.
“So the Chinese Summer Olympics of 2008 were kicked off on 08/08/08 at 8pm”- Yes, for the luck i am sure!!
There are so many superstitions followed especially during the CNY part of the year as well. During CNY celebrations the entire house is cleaned and all cleaning material is put out of sight before the first day of the year, they generally say sweeping or dusting should not be done on the New Year’s day as they worry that good fortune would be swept away from the house if they do. ‘Lai See’ is given out only in ‘red colored’ envelopes because it is the color of good luck. There are specific colors for specific occasions here, like white envelopes are used only during funerals.
Feng-Shui is also such an important part of the culture here, majority of the new businesses consult feng-shui experts before setting up the work place. Even when Disneyland was opening here in 2005, they consulted Feng-Shui experts for luck and good fortune and shifted the angle of their main gates by around 12 degrees.
Well, to top it all I read this “There are all sorts of reasons for the Hong Kong stock market to have the jitters these days. The Chinese economy remains wobbly. North Korea is threatening nuclear war. And perhaps most worrisome this week, a leading Hong Kong actor has a new movie coming out. Hong Kong investors call it the Ting Hai effect: When the actor Adam Cheng has a new television show or a new movie, the Hang Seng index often takes a dramatic turn for the worse. And in a city where superstitions can guide daily routines, the financial sector is worried.”– And I am quoting NYTIMES here, in a news report from April 2013.
The above statement actually sums up my write out today :). I am learning such new things about the culture here everyday, and there is so much more that I can share about Hong Kong etiquette and gestures (to be used and not to be used one ;)) and I am only 4 months old here. Having a lovely time finding out everything :). So its b’bye from me now, see you next time when I have something more fun for you to read.