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Feng Shui

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342749.  Fri May 23, 2008 5:46 am Reply with quote

I don't think we've looked at this, have we? Might be good for the Fashion show.

Here's something to kick it off:
Los Angeles Zoo has hired the services of a Feng Shui expert to help three golden monkeys loaned by China feel at home in their future surroundings.

Simona Mainini, who is also a qualified architect, believes the move may be a first in animal enclosure design.

"It's very experimental. We don't have any books on feng shui for monkeys," Ms Mainini told AP news agency.

Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese practice, focuses on arranging objects and spaces to promote health and happiness.

"We just have to assume that Darwin is correct and that there is a connection and what is good for humans is good for monkeys," Ms Mainini - who is reportedly being paid $4,500 (£2,300) - said.

342776.  Fri May 23, 2008 6:08 am Reply with quote

The study of feng shui is apparently taboo in modern China because of its association with feudal-era superstition in general. Supposedly it remains popular in overseas Chinese communities but not in China itself. However, the hole in this building, which is in Hong Kong, is cited as an example of feng shui in action by the Wiki article:

342789.  Fri May 23, 2008 6:25 am Reply with quote

I thought feng shui might be a good topic because it is about channeling "Qi".

American illusionists Penn and Teller once asked several Feng Shui experts to arrange the same room for maximum harmony; No two arranged the furniture in the same manner.

Charles Dickens wrote and slept facing north, aligning himself with the poles of the earth.

(SQUIRE - sources on request)

Apropros of not much, I have a feng shui turtle from Borneo - while I may be a skeptic, I like to keep him facing north - reckon it makes him feel happier.

342862.  Fri May 23, 2008 8:23 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
The study of feng shui is apparently taboo in modern China because of its association with feudal-era superstition in general

Not sure about that - China is a much more pluralistic society than Western media reports suggest. (See the rejection of the smoking ban a few weeks ago, for instance!)

Here's a tour company offering study tours of feng shitto in mainland China:

342897.  Fri May 23, 2008 9:04 am Reply with quote

Several places on the internet say that feng was introduced to the West by Chinese miners during the US gold rush in the 19th century - which is not what I would have guessed, I have to say.

345802.  Tue May 27, 2008 8:42 am Reply with quote

Me either. The way to check it would be to see what citations there are for the word in English-language publications; I would be surprised to find many before the 1970s, though etymonline gives 1797 as the earliest citation (without elaboration).

(Later) Looked it up in the OED, which explains thus:

1797 Encycl. Brit. IV. 679/1 The greater part of the Chinese are of the opinion that all the happiness and misfortunes of life depend upon the fong-choui. 1883 Ibid. XV. 204/1 The feng-shui, or ‘wind-and-water’ magic, is a system the practitioners of which regulate the building of houses and tombs by their local aspects. 1906 W. DE MORGAN Joseph Vance xxvii. 252, I think what the Chinese call the Feng-Shui of the sofa-back had a good deal to answer for. a1936 KIPLING Something of Myself (1937) vii. 178 We entered and felt her Spirit - her Feng Shui - to be good. 1967 ‘A. CORDELL’ Bright Cantonese xi. 123, I climbed to the grave of my mother, which was fine for Feng Shui with its wind and water.

Interesting that Kipling uses it.


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