Thursday, 29 January 2009

The Ox

Bad omens for Hong Kong.

Hong Kong people are gloomy about the city's economic prospects for the Year of the Ox after Chinese New Year festivities were overshadowed by bad omens.

As celebrations to mark the New Year took place across the city of 6.9 million, which slipped into recession at the end of 2008, headlines on Wednesday were grabbed by two seemingly ominous events.
First, a "fortune stick'' picked on Tuesday by a senior politician in an annual Taoist ceremony predicting how prosperous the year ahead will be produced the worst possible number - 27.
Feng shui masters in the superstitious former British colony said the fortune stick meant Hong Kong faced a turbulent and unsettled year with possible conflicts between the government and people.

The last time the number 27 was drawn was 1992, shortly before the arrival of last British governor Chris Patten set off a series of political clashes in the territory.

Hours later, there was another apparently bad omen for the year ahead when a barge carrying fireworks across Victoria Harbour for the New Year fireworks display caught fire.
Black smoke billowed out of the barge as the 20-minute display came to an end on Tuesday evening and fire boats had to rush to douse the flames. No one was injured.

In a sign of the mood of pessimism enveloping Hong Kong, only around 250,000 people lined the harbour for the fireworks display - half the number who attended in 2008.
Hong Kong has been hit hard by the global economic slump with share prices falling by more than 50% in the past 12 months and unemployment rising to more than 4 per cent.

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Hmmmm....what can be said when superstitions are well accepted and believed by the majority.
I guess even without the politician 'unfortunate' pick of the stick, the economy will definitely be hit and the global impact will surely send it waves across the former British colony.

Suddenly now I wonder what my long lost friend in AWSJ Hong Kong would be doing in order to brave through the economic turmoil there.

On the other hand, what would the fortune reader say should the stick picked by the politician represent all good numbers.....;-)

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