Happy 牛 Year!Written by Uln on January 2nd, 2009
I got a few email greetings today with this title and I found it particularly funny and adapted to year 2009.
For those who don’t do Chinese, 牛 means “Ox” or “Cow”, and in mandarin it is pronounced “Niu”, which sounds similar to the English “New”. So Happy 牛Year is basically what Chinese picture when they say Happy New Year. Except that, like usual, characters carry a richer load of meaning.
The reasons why this year it is particularly suitable to say Happy 牛 Year are 3fold:
1- Of course, 2009 (starting January 26) will actually be the year of the Ox, or 牛.
2- 牛 in internet slang also means “confident, daring, impressive, amazing”. Usually applied to a person, I see no reason why we shouldn’t apply it to a whole year.
3- The term 牛, as in 牛市, is gaining acceptance as a translation of bull market. 2008 was the year where Shanghai Index crashed. Wishing some 牛 in Shanghai, where even taxi drivers have their economies strapped in the stock market, is sure to get you a warm welcome.
So there you go, it is only once every 12 years that you have so many excuses to say Happy 牛 Year. Carpe diem and grab every chance. Just remember when you say 牛 to stress the ascending tone, to make sure it is clear that you are not saying simply “New”. You can check out my 3Goose lesson for a comprehensive training in rising tones.
As a sidenote, although I don’t really believe in horoscopes I have googled the Ox for a bit to find out what the stars have to say of 2009. I ended up on the website of one well known Singapore Fengshui Consultant, and was quite shocked to read his forecast for 09, which starts and finishes like this:
2009 The year of the Ox will be arriving on Jan 26th. 2009 The year of The Ox will be a very intense year. The many significant incidents that occur will be sudden and deadly.
Wishing you all the best and good luck for the year of the Ox.
So, like Mr. Han, I wish you all the best for this Bull year, and hope to see you around on Chinayouren once in a while.
Happy 牛Year !!