Thursday, January 26, 2017

No, It is the Year of the Fowl, not Rooster

We of the Chinese descent are generally a very chauvinistic lot. Year of the Rooster; Chinese New Year, etc.

In this New Year of the Rooster, may I champion the role of the Hen? Shouldn’t we call the New Year “Year of the Hen”? I believe the original intention of the Chinese zodiac designer was not a sexist lot. I think he or she meant Fowl; but the male chauvinists, maybe not knowing the proper English term for it, used Rooster to depict the species. I may be wrong, though. But hasn’t the better half of the Chinese population stood up to correct this?

Again, the lunar calendar is also observed by many non-Chinese. The Koreans, the Vietnamese and, I understand, a few minorities in Indochina also celebrate Lunar New Year. Aren’t we too self-centric to think that it is Chinese New Year? I suspect Japanese of the past eras also had this tradition. Maybe it is because of its “Chinese” label that the new Japanese are now turning to the Gregorian count, i.e., January 1 to celebrate New Year? Again, I stand corrected on this!

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