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 !!




8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jan
    2
    10:37
    AM
    xiao lu

    I should have said Happy NIU year to 牛人ULN!
    Little disappointed by Mr.Han’s prospect for 2009, I checked what he said about the year of rat 2008:”2008 the year of Rat is going to be an easier year for most of us in general. It will be filled with greater vibrancy and energy. It is time for you to stand up, to do some stretches and read on… There will be more traveling for us. It could be either for business or vacation. Our hearts will be screaming for the latter. Many people will be migrating, relocating or even moving actively about within a country.

    If you are traveling, migrating or relocating to another country while enjoying the excitement, remember to be aware and sensitive to the local cultures and blend in with society without losing your individuality. This is highlighted because humans are territorial. When the locals feel that there is a sudden increase in foreigners, hostility will arise easily and inevitably. Any misbehavior or insensitive gesture may spark off conflicts between the locals and the foreigners. Be street smart and be aware of your surroundings.”

    Anyway, I just believe in “Carpe diem!” So Happy Everyday to all!

    [Reply to comment]

  2. Jan
    2
    5:30
    PM
    Joel

    Happy 牛 year to you too! Thank you for the support!

    [Reply to comment]

  3. Jan
    3
    12:49
    AM
    uln

    Thanks 小陆! I am glad to see I didn’t blow it this time.

    Especially since the post has been linked by higher beings of the blogosphere (see below).

    PS. Often times people misundertsand my saying youren and call me 牛人 instead. Now it has become my chinese nickname.

    [Reply to comment]

  4. Jan
    3
    9:29
    PM
    Learn Chinese

    Haha, this seems so popular this year, I’ve already recieved so many Happy 牛 year… What will it be for the Chinese new year!

    [Reply to comment]

  5. Jan
    7
    7:06
    AM
    Charlotte Stant

    I live in Maryland in the US and just got a spam on my mobile - the second or third ever - advertising $1500 of easy credit, so times are tough here as well.

    I remember getting SMS while I was in Beijing on getting illegal weapons (黑枪), ultraviolet goggles to see through clothing, debt payment extortion service, counterfeit money, and the universal 办证 offers so you can have fake paperwork to, for example, stay in the city…I really should have called one of them up to check it out. Could have written a story about it.

    [Reply to comment]

  6. Jan
    7
    12:16
    PM
    uln

    Jesus, so the illegal weapons thing is true. If someone has copy of this sms please send me one.

    On the other hand, I am not sure I want to publish that here. Exposing dodgy Wang was already a bit on the limit, but exposing a gang of weapon dealers is sure to land me in big trouble. Including armed flesh searches and perhaps a wholesale Uln flesh market. scary.

    [Reply to comment]

  7. Jan
    8
    11:38
    PM
    Charlotte Stant

    人人为我,我为人人,所以阁下献身供革命群众人肉,情操厥伟,人民会记得你的! ^^

    [Reply to comment]

  8. Jan
    10
    4:55
    PM
    uln

    Oh, thanks Charlotte. I appreciate your offer to be a hero of the revolution. But I think I will pass this time. I don’t want to end up like the italian guy who wrote Gomorra, much as I admire him…

    [Reply to comment]

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