4 January 2013

Chinese culture: Dragon - 2012 and beyond

Every cell, chromosome, gene - even microbe - in my body is Chinese; I'm 100% sure.  I mean, I couldn't be more Chinese even if I tried.  But unlike most of my brethren, I do not subscribe to those zodiac-feng-shui-astrology kinda stuff... well, not really anyway.  From childhood through adolescence, I was exposed more to (and hence influenced more by) Western literature, music, movies and more markedly, Western beliefs and ideals more than I was to the Oriental equivalents.  Don't get me wrong; it wasn't as if I intentionally distanced myself from the latter - that's just how it was for me growing up.

But as I grow older and with each approaching Chinese New Year, more and more I find myself actively (although not fervently) looking up predictions of the Dragon's fortunes for the next lunar year.  Why, I have no idea; but if I must, I'd blame it on peer pressure.  Fortune is at your doorstep; don't let it slip away, I'm repeatedly told.  I'm a '64 baby, which makes me a Dragon - without doubt the most auspicious and "honoured" zodiac sign any Chinese parent could possibly hope for their children to be born under.  So in a way, I should consider myself fortunate to be born one.  Speaking of "fortunate", FORTUNE (supposedly) is never too far from the Dragon where Chinese beliefs are concerned.

In Chinese astrology, the future is divined from the Chinese calendar which refers to a 12-year cycle of animals and their characteristics known as the Chinese zodiac.  Many Chinese swear by it and indeed live their lives under its influence.  But the irony of it all is that if Chinese astrology is as credible and accurate as many believe it to be, surely I'd be rubbing shoulders with Malaysia's most affluent by now.  I mean, if it's true what they say about Dragons finding new fortunes every single year, "getting rich" would be such a regular thing for me by now I'd probably find it mundane - maybe even boring.

Unfortunately (and as much as I'd give an arm and a leg for just one opportunity to be bored by a windfall), this couldn't be further from the truth.  Pushing 50, I've yet to attain or experience any measure of wealth to justifiably consider myself, well... well-off.  Despite predictions of new-found success and prosperity for Dragons like me year in year out, I'm still nowhere near attaining either; no matter how much I adhered - consciously or otherwise - to the inevitable conditions and requisites one must observe (they're like ground rules, you see) in order to achieve these ends.

It'll be curtains-down on the Year of the Dragon in just over a month; after which we will be ushering in the Year of the Snake - the sixth zodiac of the Chinese horoscope.  For me, things now are pretty much same old, same old; which although aren't bad, could definitely be better.  Or more exciting.  But if the last eleven months of the Year of the Dragon haven't brought me any kind of windfall - however small - I sure as hell don't think the twelfth will.   So face it, Vincent; it's not going to happen - at least not until the fiery beast comes round again in 2024 (by which time I'll probably too darned old and feeble to spend my new-found wealth with any degree of meaningfulness and hence, joy).

2012 was supposed to be the best year for me in every aspect; but apart from acquiring a spanking-new MPV, getting a squeaky-clean bill of health from my pathologist (now that came as a pleasant surprise), kicking my addiction to Pringles without any withdrawal symptoms whatsoever, my lovely niece announcing her much-anticipated wedding later this year, having a most enjoyable holiday in Vietnam last October and surviving yet another supposed Doomsday, yeah, I'd say it's been a largely uneventful year for me (*blink*blink*).

Me; fiery dragon
So what do the Chinese horoscopes say about the Dragon's fortunes in 2013?  Nothing new really; success and prosperity as usual - only this time they've upped the bar with regards the conditions and requisites that I'll need to observe.  For starters, I'll need to be kind and generous.  That's the easy part; I am after all a kind and generous person....  well, most times I am; especially in non-material ways.

The tough bit has to do with PATIENCE.  It says patience is the most important attribute I'll need to exercise consistently in 2013 in order to gain success and wealth.  Staying patient for a whole year?!  Knowing myself, that's a big ask.  No, make that a huge ask.  There's no such thing as a patient dragon - only fiery ones; and this one's no different.  Patience is definitely not one of my virtues, I admit unashamedly.  I have a short fuse... a reeeally short fuse.  Couple this with my near-perfectionist nature and oft-explosive personality and you have the perfect recipe for conflict.  And speaking of conflict, this apparently is also one of the areas I'd do well to avoid in the Year of the Snake if I seek "peace, harmony, confidence and success" in life.

So it's pretty obvious 2013 isn't going to be my year.  Not by any measure.  I'm therefore made up to just let these two good hands as well as this fiery (but proven) temperament write the script for each episode of my life in 2013 instead of leaving the job to the stars.

Maybe I also ought to start taking the missus' advice more seriously and stop reading too much into the horoscopes each time a new lunar year beckons - undermining my own intelligence on each occasion by foolishly allowing myself to get all hyped up about the predictions; only to come crashing back down in the end and blame every misfortune or mis-prediction on the heavens.  Come to think of it, I really ought to be counting my blessings instead and be content with what I've achieved, experienced and gained - however little they may be - with only my knowledge, skills and judgment; no divine intervention - Chinese or otherwise.  So bring on the Snake!  The Dragon can handle it; just as it has the Tiger, the Ox or the whatever.  Que sera sera.

To all my Chinese friends and readers, XIN NIAN KUAI LE ~ GONG XI FA CAI... five weeks in advance.

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  1. really enjoyed reading your blog as always, new years resolution for you is "count to ten" haha great read vincent.from your red sis :)

  2. Thank u, Doreen. I had a good time writing this one.

  3. Wow! Excellent Chinese culture it also comprises a lot of useful facts- Thanks for valuable information. Really enjoyed reading it. Please visit my astrology report page and please leave comments.