Monday, September 15, 2008

The Curse of the Chinese Olympic Mascots

Some Chinese are saying that their cute Olympic mascots may be responsible for a string of tragedies that happened in China. From Fortean Times:
Each Olympic showdown has its own mascot. This year the Chinese government chose a total of five Fuwa, as they are affectionately known, and a lot of time and effort went into designing these playful cartoony mascots. Each was supposed to represent an intrinsic element of Chinese culture, and when arranged in the right order they spell out ‘Beijing welcomes you’ in Chinese characters. Cute. But look beneath the surface, as many have, and a worrying trend is clearly visible. To the dismay of the authorities (who are allegedly removing items as quickly as they spring up) users of Chinese message boards and networking sites such as Baidu and QQ are talking about the ‘Curse of the Fuwas’. From the evidence, it seems they might be on to something …

One Fuwa, christened Jingjing, is in the image of a panda, one of China’s best-loved animals and national treasures. However, many of China’s pandas live in Sichuan province, the scene of this year’s devastating earthquake that killed almost 80,000 people. Huanhuan resembles an Olympic torch, a symbol which will forever remind the Chinese of the many violent protests and security threats that marked the worldwide torch relay. Yingying resembles a Tibetan antelope, and so is said to represent the ongoing Tibetan unrest. Beibei is a fish, usually considered lucky but this year linked to the widespread flooding that decimated the southern regions in June and July, when rainy season hit.

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