Lucky China

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While the US is a meritocracy…work hard, get good stuff…China is all about luck. Most people may know this already, but it became very clear to me recently when reading articles about China how the concept of luck is truly embedded in the culture. Merit means something too…but good fortune helps you along. Numbers are harbingers of good fortune or not depending on the number. Why…because the name of the number sounds like and looks like something auspicious (or not). 8 is the most auspicious number because the name in Chinese sounds like the name for “lucky”. That’s why the Beijing Olympics started on August 8, 2008 at 8:08 pm. It also looks like infinity which is long life! 4 meanwhile, sounds like death, so most buildings omit the 4th floor and derivatives of 4 (40, 44, etc), much like we omit the 13th (1 +3 = 4….hmmmm) People pay a lot of money for cell phone numbers and license plates with auspicious numbers…hundreds of thousands of dollars in fact. Here’s to crazy eights!!!

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