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» 08/21/2012
CHINA
Beijing, war on superstition: even unlucky numbers must be used
The Chinese shun number 4 (similar to the sound of the word "death") in hospitals, homes, phone numbers. They prefer the number 8 (prosperity), 5 (unlimited wealth), 9 (long lasting life). From now on, Beijing buildings will have to submit to the dictatorship of numerical progression. Yet the same government made the Olympics start on August 8 at 8:08 pm!

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The municipal government of Beijing has produced an ordinance requiring construction companies to use even "unlucky" numbers in the numbering of addresses, doors and floors. This is the first time in the history of modern China that a government has waged a war on superstition.

In China, the most unlucky number is the number four, the pronunciation of which is similar to the word "death." This is why hospitals everyone tries to avoid bed number 4, or the 4th floor, wanting to stay alive as much as possible. 4 is avoided in phone numbers, dates of marriage and home addresses. Very often in buildings the 4th floor does not exist, replaced instead by a 3B or 5A.

On the other hand, there are "lucky" numbers that are much sought after such as the number eight (ba), for example, the sound is similar to "prosperous" and "rich" and 5 (wu), which indicates something without limits (wealth, happiness, etc. ...), nine (qiu) sounds like "enduring, eternal." There are people who pay extra to get a phone number with a lot of "8's" or a car plate with "8" and "9".

From now on residents will be unable to discard bad luck numbers, or search for luckey ones at all costs.

As of August 25, every new buildings in the capital must correctly number the addresses, apartments, floors, blocks and door numbers according to the pure numerical progression, leaving no room for kabbalistic superstition.

According to Xinhua, in an internet survey, at least 46% agreed with this directive that finally undermines the old superstitions. But a hard core of 22% said that instead the tradition should be respected. The Chinese government itself, only four years ago, he decided to start the Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8th (eighth month), at 8:08 in the evening!

 

 


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See also
02/20/2007 CHINA
Temples and gynaecologists’ waiting rooms crowded in the lucky Year of the Pig
08/17/2012 TAIWAN - CHINA
Ghost month: superstitions and good business
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Yunnan and Guizhou earthquake victims top 80
09/01/2008 CHINA
Quakes rock Sichuan and Yunnan. Dozens dead, hundreds of thousands homeless
02/09/2010 CHINA
Sichuan: five years in jail for investigating quake collapsed buildings

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by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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