So, 2012. The year the world is supposed to end.
As the world (much of it, anyway) celebrated the coming of the new year, I couldn’t help but notice the different ways cultures of the world welcome the new year.
For us here in the Philippines, we like to usher in the year with a bang—literally. With firecrackers that can set off car alarms, and can reduce your precious doggies to whimpering, whining, shitting, piteous creatures; with firecrackers that shatter eardrums, and mangle hands and, in some cases, cause fires and kill people.
|The firecracker on the left is aptly called "Goodbye Philippines"|
Also by firing loaded guns indiscriminately into the sky. This one’s fun—gravity tells us that what comes up must come down, right? So when the bullet does return to earth, it sometimes hit people, including children.
Loud noises are supposed to drive away “evil spirits,” according to Chinese traditions. That people use this superstition to justify this stupid tradition makes me want to headslap the guy behind me here at work.
Filipinos also believe that serving chicken during new year celebrations is bad luck, because chickens are “isang kahig isang tuka,” –literally, one scratch, one peck—which means you could work really, really, hard, and it would be only sufficient to feed you once. Hence, one scratch, one peck.
But now, exposures to Chinese traditions have “enlightened” many Filipinos. They now believe that the poor chicken is in fact lucky. Why? Because chickens are birds; and as everyone knows, birds fly, and soar. Like fortunes, see? So according to the Chinese, chicken symbolizes "soaring to great heights." Ergo, chicken is not bad luck. So—chicken=birds=flying=good luck.
|Do you feel lucky, punk? (Sorry, couldn't find a chicken with a .44 Magnum)|
And also, as everyone knows, many Chinese in the Philippines are filthy rich, compared to some Filipinos, who are merely filthy.
Those Chinese, they must be doing something right, eh? So goddamn it, slaughter those chickens!
So yes, we also had some chicken dishes in our house during the New Year festivities.
No connection with hoping to soar to great heights, though.