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China: Curse of the Olympic mascots?

Global Voices Olympics In case you ever wondered if those Olympic Fuwas weren't just a little too cute to be true, apparently you aren't the only one.

For China, the superstitious formula to that effect which has been making its way across various networks since the Sichuan earthquake looks accurate enough given the number of tragic events which have befallen China already this year. And mention of the Curse of the Fuwas [zh] has been getting deleted left and right and off Baidu and there are even separate versions, so the curse must really exist and the few criticisms of the notion [zh] that do still exist are powerless to stop it.

So, Sohu blogger Elvia Wu sums it up in a post that has since been deleted:

中国,08年的中国真是多事之秋呀!

从年初到现在,中国一直祸事连连。山东火车相撞、西藏闹事、奥运火炬在传递过程中被抢,现在成都又发生了大地震,死伤过万人!

近来在网上及手机短信中流传着这么一段话:

一个福娃头上是风筝,代表潍坊,于是山东出事了;
  一个福娃是藏羚羊,于是西藏出事了;
  一个福娃是火炬,于是火炬出事了;
  一个福娃是熊猫,于是四川出事了;
  现在还剩一条鱼 ….

China, what troubled times 2008 has been for you!

From the beginning of year until now, it's been disaster after disaster for China. The train car collision in Shandong, the unrest in Tibet, grabbing at the Olympic torch during the relay, and now Chengdu has had an earthquake, with tens of thousands dead!

Recently this little passage has been spreading around online and through SMS:

One Fuwa has a kite on its head, representing Weifang, and then something happened in Shandong;
One Fuwa is a Tibetan antelope, and then something happened in Tibet;
One Fuwa is a torch, and then something happened to the Olympic torch;
One Fuwa is a panda, and then something happened in Sichuan;
Now there's still the fish left…

对于中国目前的现状,国人是担忧的,这很能理解!

但我们不应该把奥运会与这些祸事相联。毕竟,奥运会是中国的光荣,是我们中华民族的光荣,是我们经过了很多努力之后才得来的荣誉。奥运福娃的设计是有突破的,是第一个以五个形象,以图组的形式出现在公众面前的。

奥运福娃的象征与这些祸事也许有些许巧合,但非要把这些事情联系在一起来说就是迷信了。

With the state that China's in now, people are worried, and this is very understandable!

But we should not associate these disasters with the Olympic Games. After all, the Olympics are China's glory, the glory of the Chinese people, and the honor we've earned after all the hard work we've been through. The design of the Olympic Fuwas was a breakthrough, it's the first time that the public has seen it come in a series of five figures.

There are some coincidences between the symbols of the Olympic Fuwas and these disasters, but determination to put these two together is just superstition.

Then there were other evidence points, such as January 25 (01/25) being the day the heaviest snowfall in 50 years fell, paralyzing a large part of the country's transportation and electricity networks, and 1+2+5 adding up to 8; the Tibetan riots broke out on March 14, so 3+1+4; the Shandong train collision occurred on April 28 (4*2=8), and the Sichuan earthquake on May 12. Then to top it all off, 8pm on August 8=888, sign of the Fuwa.

Most recently, the supposed curse has come full circle to bring Beibei into this, with torrential rain across large parts of the country which began on May 26 (2+6), setting records in Hong Kong, swallowing cars whole in Beijing, and flooding rivers from Jiangxi to hundreds of thousands displaced in Guangxi, which as Blogspot blogger Griffin Lee writes, only comes as the country is still left recovering from last month's earthquake:


earthquake's problem hasnt solve yet n now flooding all over places in southern China,
this is a tragic scene , imagine u're one of the victim or ur family or relaives r there.

142 comments

  • my_mother

    Hey Kennedy,

    This numbers crap is totally stupid!!! So freaking dee dee dee!

    God damn! Anybody could pull the vaguest connections out of thin air or their backside to justify all sort of things.

    A case in point is my assertion that John Kennedy (you, not the other one) is the devil!

    What’s my proof? Well, it is just that you “chose” June 16th, 2008 to start this thread. And what’s the significance of this?

    First, June (06), so 0+6 = 6. Second, 16th, so 1*6 = 6. And finally, 2008, so 8-2 = 6. God damn, 666. that proves it. You are the devil!!

    Well, not really. I don’t think you are the devil. It’s just that I think the numbers thing is stupid. With the logic we see here, it kind of makes you wonder whether or not Iowa is the new Sodom or Gomorrah (or the victim of some unfortunate curse), given the tornados and flood that had visit it in quick sucession.

    The thing is, crap happens all the time. Aside from the earthquake, stuff like floods happens every year in China (and in the States for that matter). FYI, it is monsoon season. And this year’s flood is nowhere near as bad as the one in 2005.

    What the heck makes it so special? Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The olympics is just around the corner. Maybe that’s what all the fuss is about. For a second, I thought it was just like the END OF DAYS.

    Anyhow, John, why don’t you translate stuff that is more substantive, like things about the labor movement in China. There’s something that is going to change China (maybe the world).

    Best
    Kain

  • I agree that the numerology is basically nonsense, but there is still some significance to this story, if for no other reason than that every Chinese person I know is talking about it (the numbers, the bad luck, etc.).

    In our area people have been setting off an unusual amount of firecrackers for weeks now, and it’s said this is partly because people are losing confidence regarding the Olympics and their trying to get rid of China’s bad luck.

  • chan

    Evolution is growth or expansion, while involution is decay or contraction. Nature continues to evolve or expand by contracting and creating new goods and beings. The combination of expansion and contraction results in vibration. This is why everything is vibrating in the universe. Decay is as important as growth. For example, old cells in our body must die so that new cells can be born. In order to rise into a new or higher state of consciousness, our old state of consciousness must decay and die.

    @JK
    Significant Floods in the United States During the 20th Century – USGS Measures a Century of Floods
    During the 20th century, floods were the number-one natural disaster in the United States in terms of the number of lives lost and property damage.
    What curse is that in US ????

  • […] the recent floods across China, the “Fuwas of doom” theory appears to have come full circle. Meanwhile, China’s Internet censors are rushing to delete posts […]

  • @Chan are you asking for my personal opinion? I don’t believe in curses, so I can’t really answer that. What you’re describing is something along the lines of what Sharon Stone was talking about, no? I think cursing someone in the verbal sense is an emotional response to a feeling of injustice, physical, legal or economic helplessness or vulnerability, and an alternative to violence or other immediately injurious actions. In that case it might help others better understand what one is feeling, when words or patience fail.

    @Kain let me know if you notice your fingers suddenly curl up and fall off sometime within the next week.

    @Joel that’s really interesting. I can’t imagine that in the face of all this loss and destruction there is any explanation that makes sense, like all the talk of earthquake predictions. Better they blame the Fuwas I guess than Beijing and corrupt institutions around them. Or not?

  • chan

    @JK
    I am asking your opinion, by putting a question “What curse is that in US ????” and surely I am not cursing anything. Don’t put your remark that I am cursing like Sharon Stone. I believe it is all nature work.
    So how about you yourself when you put the title of this blog “China: Curse of the Olympic mascots? ” Do you really see yourself after you have given remarks on me ???

  • @Chan I see. Okay, again, I don’t believe in curses. This post comes after having seen this Fuwa meme floating around online for a month already and while I’d like to believe that most people aren’t taking it that seriously, unfortunately all the posts Google found for me that looked like sharp mockery of the whole idea have already been deleted, so it looks to me that online at this point in time superstition is lingering and probably thriving given the circumstances.

    And, not believing in karma or curses, I don’t have much to say about Katrina, if that’s what you’re getting at. From what I understand, it was a horrible tragedy that was handled horribly. This might be more what you’re looking for.

  • Eric hu

    Kennedy, you have a remarkable talent of “gouzaidui”, go for it.

  • sorry i don’t know how to leave a trackback. Linked to you here: […]And in case you were wondering what the 2008 Olympics are really about, that translated blog post from Global Voices Online is quite revealing:[…]

  • chan

    @JK
    I don’t believe in Karma and curse also. So no point for you to put the title for this Blog “China: Curse of the Olympic mascots? ”
    And, I have already put my comments that it is natural evolution.
    “This” recommended by you, is not what I want.
    I am asking why you are putting this blog title “China: Curse of the Olympic mascots? ”
    Since you already have remarked that “I think cursing someone in the verbal sense is an emotional response to a feeling of injustice, physical, legal or economic helplessness or vulnerability, and an alternative to violence or other immediately injurious actions.” This curse subject is really not suitable for me. It seem more meaningful for yourself as you are the one putting the title ??

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