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Ghosts are afraid of the number 8

August 9, 2008

Ghost month. Where major events like weddings, engagements, house construction, renovation, moving into new homes, etc are discouraged.

So Beijing decides to kick off the Olympics smack at the start of the ghost month. Something’s making them confident that these ghouls won’t be streaming out of hell, filling up the stands and scaring the bejeezus out of everyone. Did they secretly find out that 08.08.08 was the dreaded tripple whammy for ghosts?

But then, ghosts aren’t ones to turn down a good party (they dig chinese operas and Hokkien songs I’m told) so I’m going with the hunch that the Chinese government had set up a secret ghost olympics somewhere, complete with wood-and-paper birds nest stadium to appease these wandering spirits. They’re probably starting the weightlifting and beach volleyball gigs as we speak.

Okay, lame jokes aside, I only have two words for last night’s opening ceremony.


Not just pretty forms but form with meaning. They totally demolished Athens, Sydney and Atlanta. London will be scrambling to top last night’s show I’m sure. What absorbed me most was the hundreds of people doing synchronized tai ji quan. So many memories coming back to me….

Scanning thru the list of sports… where the heck is scrabble? Isn’t that a sport? I want scrabble. And skateboarding too.

I think the games seriously need an update.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. LC Teh permalink
    August 9, 2008 8:59 pm

    The mainland Chinese no longer hold to the age-old beliefs like their overseas cousins after the great cultural revolution. The show must go on in spite of other tragedies, demonstrations and other distractions. Even ghosts can be ignored.

    Yes, superb show indeed. I had to depend on our RTM1 and as usual, completely pissed of by the constant commercial interruptions and the incessant chatting by the spoil-sport commentators who think their voices are more interesting than anything else.

  2. Damien permalink*
    August 10, 2008 9:19 am

    Yes its ironic how the overseas chinese are more chinese than the heartlanders. The other irony is how the chinese immigrants to the west would go back to China/HK to raise their families, then bring them back to the west when they’re of age. The African, Indian and European immigrants don’t do that.

  3. LC Teh permalink
    August 11, 2008 12:05 pm

    Overseas Chinese did not have their brains overhauled by the cultural revolution. So they’re stuck with some old mindsets. Not all of them are good (or bad?), of course.

    The immigrants who raise their kids back in China/HK and bring them back to the west are probably only those who are rich enough to afford it. It’s probably a waste of effort to think that cultural evolution can be stopped.

  4. Damien permalink*
    August 12, 2008 8:51 am

    I guess Taiwan is one place where they neither totally escaped nor embraced the cultural revolution. They can be very open and yet traditional-minded, a good balance in my opinion. The tricky part is to tell the difference between tradition (experience-based) and superstition (fear-based) as they often masquerade as one other. But the veneration of the number 8, thats pure superstition to me.

  5. LC Teh permalink
    August 12, 2008 12:07 pm

    I concur with you on the number 8. I always thought only the Cantonese speaking are obsessed with it. Then it really sounds like wind-breaking effort to me.

  6. Damien permalink*
    August 13, 2008 8:39 am

    And to think that an unsuperstitious communist government would still choose to launch it at 8pm on 08.08.08. 🙂 Looks like the long march didn’t quite take of everything.

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