Monday, 19 May 2008

News Report: Superstitious Chinese link earthquake to "unlucky" Olympic mascots

Olympic Mascots 2008

these are my Olympic mascot toys (bought from my school trip to Xi'an and Chengdu last Nov) sitting atop my desktop computer, prettily and patiently awaiting the start of the 2008 Olympic games.... unbeknownst to them, accusatory rumours swirl around cyberspace concerning their inauspiciousness... who is to say what is to be believed or not..? afterall, the facts are spookily coincidental...

Hong Kong - Superstitious bloggers have linked China's earthquake disaster and other recent misfortunes to the five Olympic mascots seen on posters across the nation, a Hong Kong newspaper reported Friday.

Gossip sites are full of speculation that four of the five cartoon mascots have fulfilled prophesies of doom with one more, connected to the mighty Yangtze River, ominously still to come, the South China Morning Post said.

The five Olympic mascots are Jinjing, Huanhuan, Yingying, Nini and Beibei - and Jingjing, a panda, the animal most closely associated with Sichuan province where the earthquake struck.

Huanhuan, a cartoon character with flame hair, is being linked by bloggers to the Olympic torch which has been dogged by fierce anti-China protests on its round-the-world tour.

Yingying, an antelope, is an animal confined to the borders of Tibet which has been the scene of riots and the cause of international protests against China, the bloggers point out.

Nini, represented by a kite, is being viewed as a reference to the 'kite city' of Weifang in Shandong where China saw a deadly train crash last month.

That leaves only Beibei, represented by a sturgeon fish, which online doomsayers suggest could indicate a looming disaster in the Yangtze River, the only place where Chinese sturgeon are found.

Peking University sociologist Xie Xueluan told the newspaper: 'Chinese see major calamities as divine intervention ... The absence of religion reinforces this trend.'

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