Sunday, June 17, 2012


There are a total of 14 lanterns lining along the path near the Spink Pavilion, adjacent to the Central Axis.  The 12 lanterns (below) represent the signs corresponds to the 12 animals in Chinese Zodiac.  On dispaly at each end was the above listing of the years the person was born and what animal would be associated with him/her characteristics. 
The animals in the Chinese Zodiac are fabled to have held a race across a river for a place among the signs.  Rat used his clever ways to be the first to get across (often at the expense of others), and is the first animal in the Zodiac.  The other eleven followed in succession.  Each Zodiac sign corresponds to a calendar year, and the cycle repeats every twelve years.  All the animals have specific characteristics associated with them, and the people are thought to assume the qualities of the animals into which year they are born.
I don't really believe that my fortune of the present and future is based on whatever Chinese or Western astrological sign occurred in the year I was born.  Of course, that did not stop people from asking me questions about Chinese Zodiac or about Asian cultures as if I was the "official representative".  At a former workplace, a manager just came back from lunch at a local Chinese buffet and wanted to know more about the astrological signs of the twelve animals.  I politely provided a brief explanation that the Dragon is the most favorable animal.  Families (especially in China) would plan their pregnancies so that the child would be born in the year of the Dragon.
He then asked about arranged marriages.  I said that today most marriages are no longer arranged and probably more thru on-line matching services.  However, most traditional Chinese families are still following certain practices such as a good match would base on the compatibility of a girl's and boy's astrological signs, birth dates, and family backgrounds.  The wedding date is determined also based on the couple's signs and birth dates to be sure of a favorable beginning.  I gave an example that if a girl was born in the year of the Tiger, she would face difficulty finding a suitor whose signs that were not also a Tiger or a Dragon.  A boy with other signs such as Dog, Sheep or even Snake would be too "afraid" to be married (overpowered or killed) by a wife that was born in the year of a Tiger.   "What kind of crap is that?" he said and walked away.  I wish I could respond to his idiotic comment, "You asked me a question about my heritage.  I was polite in my anwers and all you could say was this insulting comment.  Next time, look up on internet yourself.  You probably will find your sign was either a pig or an ass!"

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