'The Year of the Dragon'

Steve McCann

This past Monday marked the beginning of the Chinese lunar new year. The Chinese bid farewell to the year of the rabbit and greeted the year of the black water dragon. The dragon is the only mythical beast of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac and is supposed to bring unpredictability and change.

Among the new year's day traditions in China is to consult those who can ostensibly foresee the future as to their predictions for the new year.This being the year of the dragon those forecasts take on an added importance in the mind of many in China.

Jamil Anderlini of the Financial Times recently went to visit one of the most renowned of these oracles, a Buddhist Abbott or "master" who has made quite a name for himself as an unnervingly accurate soothsayer. Among the predictions:

But the master's forecast for the European economy was predictably gloomy and his outlook for the US not much better."The global economic war is not over and there are more storms coming for the US and Europe--this will negatively affect Chinese imports and exports."

The Chinese economy was likely to be worse than last year and quite a few export-oriented factories would go bust. Far more important for the country will be its growing investment overseas which will see big losses this year if the master has divined the future correctly.

The year of the dragon has also prompted seismic shifts in the global as well as Chinese political landscape over the years.

The dragon year of 1988 prepared the world for the demise of the Soviet Union and global communism in the following year and also set the stage for the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising and subsequent massacre in Beijing.

The previous dragon year, in 1976, saw the death of Mao Zedong, the official end of the Cultural Revolution, and the worst earthquake in Chinese history leveling the city of Tangshan, killing hundreds of thousands.

In 2000, also the year of the dragon, saw the contentious presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore decided by a mere handful of votes in Florida. Perhaps this year the traditional Chinese Dragon will also guarantee change and dispatch Barack Obama to a new career of reading speeches to his sycophants in the US and throughout the world.

This past Monday marked the beginning of the Chinese lunar new year. The Chinese bid farewell to the year of the rabbit and greeted the year of the black water dragon. The dragon is the only mythical beast of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac and is supposed to bring unpredictability and change.

Among the new year's day traditions in China is to consult those who can ostensibly foresee the future as to their predictions for the new year.This being the year of the dragon those forecasts take on an added importance in the mind of many in China.

Jamil Anderlini of the Financial Times recently went to visit one of the most renowned of these oracles, a Buddhist Abbott or "master" who has made quite a name for himself as an unnervingly accurate soothsayer. Among the predictions:

But the master's forecast for the European economy was predictably gloomy and his outlook for the US not much better."The global economic war is not over and there are more storms coming for the US and Europe--this will negatively affect Chinese imports and exports."

The Chinese economy was likely to be worse than last year and quite a few export-oriented factories would go bust. Far more important for the country will be its growing investment overseas which will see big losses this year if the master has divined the future correctly.

The year of the dragon has also prompted seismic shifts in the global as well as Chinese political landscape over the years.

The dragon year of 1988 prepared the world for the demise of the Soviet Union and global communism in the following year and also set the stage for the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising and subsequent massacre in Beijing.

The previous dragon year, in 1976, saw the death of Mao Zedong, the official end of the Cultural Revolution, and the worst earthquake in Chinese history leveling the city of Tangshan, killing hundreds of thousands.

In 2000, also the year of the dragon, saw the contentious presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore decided by a mere handful of votes in Florida. Perhaps this year the traditional Chinese Dragon will also guarantee change and dispatch Barack Obama to a new career of reading speeches to his sycophants in the US and throughout the world.