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Beijing Scene, Volume 5, Issue 24, September 3 - 9


 
Chinese Zodiac Part II
zhongguo shuxiang 中国属相
 

Fifty years of 努力 nuli (effort) by the Communist Party can't break 5,000 year-old habits. Even in this day and age, Chinese 老百姓 laobaixing (common people) are still prone to believing a lot of superstitious nonsense. Some老外 laowai argue that the Chinese zodiac is just that: a bunch of superstitious nonsense. But Chinese people swear by its accuracy. Indeed, the following beliefs are so universally accepted that they've already made the transition from superstition to stereotype!

老鼠 laoshu Rat
1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996
People born in the Year of the Rat are 机警 jijing (alert; sharp-witted), charming and ambitious. They are always busy and can't slow down to 休息 xiuxi (have a rest). Rats have the uncanny ability to sense danger. They are shrewd and not easily fooled. The rat is a real family person and devoted to their loved ones. They're generous, hardworking and thrifty. Rats make good advisers to others but never follow their own advice.

On the negative side, rats are 现实 xianshi (practical) but lack 胆" danzi (lit. 'gall-bladder'; courage). What's more, they can be extravagant and greedy. If the rat is not careful, its greedy side could get it into trouble. Rats are secretive, self-indulgent and self-seeking. They love to criticize and gossip. Rats should avoid 信任 xinren (trusting) other rats or those born in the year of the rabbit or sheep.

Careers suitable for male rats include advertising, catering and hospitality, music, mass media, and research. For female rats, there抯 beauty, fashion, film, hotel, writing and being a 卡拉ok小姐 kala OK xiaojie (karaoke girl).

Rats are gentle and loving, when they aren't cheating on their spouses. A younger monkey or dragon makes a good companion for the male rat. A female rat's ideal partner is a dragon or ox. Rats should avoid the horse, rabbit, and sheep. Famous rats include former U.S. Vice-President George Bush, Prince Charles, Marlon Brando and D. H. Lawerence.

牛 niu Ox
1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985
Ox people are unhappy with 变化 bianhua (change) and prefer conformity and convention. The ox person is willing to work hard to acquire all the things its materialistic little heart desires. Oxes are generally calm and placid and rarely 发火 fahuo (lose their temper). In the rare event that they get pissed off however, it would be wise to keep clear, as they are capable of fearsome, dangerous rages.

The ox person is reliable, sincere, loyal and patient. They have few but faithful friends. Oxes love their food and drink and like to live in the lap of luxury. They are also fair and think carefully before speaking their mind. They are not 浪漫 langman (romantic) but can be passionate. They are family oriented and faithful, unlike the cheating rat.

However, oxes are 固执 guzhi (stubborn), rigid and dogmatic, lacking 幽默 youmo (humour). They are also 小气 xiaoqi (stingy), and 天真 tianzhen (naive) about love. An ox person tends to bear a grudge for a long time.

Famous people born in the Year of the Ox include Richard Nixon, Bruce Sprinstein, Charlie Chaplin, Adolf Hitler, Vanessa Redgrave, Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussien, Whoopi Goldberg and Paloma Picasso. Oxes are suited to working as doctors, lawyers, teachers and writers. The ideal romantic partner for an ox is a rat, rabbit or monkey. Avoid horses, dragons and sheep.

老虎 laohu Tiger
1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1974, 1986, 1998
The tiger is highly regarded in China and reputed to have almost magical powers. A tiger person is born to command and not to obey. Tigers are charismatic and dynamic. They are courageous and respected even by those who oppose them. Tigers stand up for what they think is right.
A tiger person is committed to seeing things through to completion. Tigers are warm, sincere, honourable and humorous. The tiger person is also tolerant, understanding and capable of great generosity.

Of course, tigers are not without their imperfections. They are 冲动 chongdong (impulsive), rebellious, and unpredictable. Tigers are also ill-tempered and egotistical. They hate to obey others and dislike interference.

Marilyn Monroe, John Steinbeck, and Karen Carpenter were all tigers. In their careers, tigers achieve success early in life but must not let their own arrogance be their downfall. Tigers should refrain from acting on implulse, or it may result in financial loss. In their love lives, tigers get along with horses, dogs and dragons. They don't get along with snakes, monkeys and rabbits.

鸡 ji Chicken
1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993
Also known as the rooster or, the Comrade's personal favorite, the cock. Roosters have a keen sense of observation, are witty, brave, enthusiastic, efficient and honest. They love to be noticed and flattered. They are conscious of their appearance and what they wear.

It is not easy to fool a rooster. Roosters have excellent memories, and are very intelligent, alert and well-organized. They are also entertaining, strong-willed and generous to friends. Roosters are confident, clever at finance, and make outstanding performers. Roosters always keep their promises.

But nobody's perfect, roosters included. They are boastful, critical and opinionated. They are also notoriously 挑剔 tiaoti (picky) and easily misunderstood. Famous cocks include Severiano Ballesteros, and HRH Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

If you're a rooster, consider a career in advertising, stage acting, human resource management, public relations or financial management. If you're looking for love and can't seem to find it, just lower your expectations a few notches and you'll surely find someone you can settle for. Ideal partners for chickens are the ox, snake, and dragon. Stay away from the rabbit, dog, and rooster. Female chickens make good wives and mothers because they are both attractive and good at housework.

狗 gou Dog
1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994
Despite the fact that Chinese people consume them, dogs are symbols of loyality and wisdom. The dog is one of the most likeable signs of the Chinese horoscope. Dogs value honour and enjoy helping other people. A dog person is loyal, honest and affectionate, and has a deep sense of justice and fair play. Dogs are willing to fight for principles.
Typical dog flaws include anxiety, a tendency to overestimate dangers, and hot-headedness. Dogs are bad-tempered when cornered or confronted. Often simplistic, suspicious and obstinate, dogs are not happy in love.
Michael Jackson and Winston Churchill are both dogs. Dogs should consider careers in social work, government service or security services. Dogs are commited to romance and make good spouses and parents but they don't find true love until they have had countless setbacks and heartbreaks. Ideal partners for a dog are the horse, rabbit and tiger. The dragon, sheep, and rooster are bad news.

猪 zhu Pig
1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995
The Pig stands for wealth, family and prosperity, happiness and good luck. While considered a symbol of slop and filth in the West, pigs are considered jewels of the Chinese horoscope. They are frank, honest, and trustworthy. A pig person is also tolerant and avoids disputes. They are peace-loving and enjoy the good things in life but are not over-indulgent.

Unfortunately, due to the trusting nature of pigs, they often 受骗 shoupian (get swindled). They are wilful and obstinate, and often make mistakes. Pigs are simultaneously materalististic and self-sacrificing.

Famous pigs include Elvis Presley, Carl Gustav Jung, and Fred Astaire. Pigs shouldn't worry about career since they are so lucky with money. Pigs should avoid doing business because they are easily cheated.They are family oriented and have happy and long-lasting marraiges. They are faithful but not romantic. They make good spouses. Pigs are best paired with a rabbit or sheep. The snake and monkey are best avoided.

The above stereotypes are held as being self-evident in China and are hardly considered 迷信 mixin (superstition). Be sure to bring them up whenever possible in conversations with Chinese people. Your knowledge of the Chinese zodiac will amaze and befuddle your friends.

 

Previous stories

Chinese Zodiac Part I

Everyday Items in Chinese People's Homes

Blood Type

Judging a book by its cover

Losing Weight

Money is everything

The Comrade's final exam

Wining and dinning out

Pekinese in beijing

Using Your Electric Brain

Traditional Holidays

Little Emporer Syndrome

Henpecked Husbands

To Own Real Estate is Glorious

 

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