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Is luck a religion?

Religious practices are noticeably absent from daily life in China. I've seen the occasional temple, but religious practices are super rare here. I don't think it's a stretch to say that there's a part of society I've become accustomed to that's sort of "missing" here. There's still plenty of super nice and generous people here, but it's...different. This said, the concept of luck plays an integral part of lives in China. The notion of items that are lucky or unlucky keep popping up. I don't know that I can call it faith, but it feels similar.


When I introduced Schmelmo to my friend Ye she immediately asked if he was lucky. Another example is the small cat with the waving arm you will see next to every cash register. Named maneki-neko in Japanese (literally “beckoning cat”), the figurine—true to its name and contrary to popular belief—is not actually waving. In Chinese, it is called zhāocáimāo. Unlike in Western cultures, the way to beckon someone over to you is palm forward, fingers pointing down. I see this motion everytime I'm being guided to a table in a restaurant.



Numbers are the most common place where luck plays a role in daily life. Every student at Hangzhou International School has a combination of eights and sixes in their student ID number. I'm not kidding. Every single one. Every phone number can also be expected to have more eights and sixes. In the last eight digits of my phone number there's a double six and a double eight. It's not by accident.


Speaking of phone numbers, the base phone number is an extra digit long here. Including the area code a phone number is ten digits long in the states. Here they are eleven digits. I guess that's what 1.4 billion people require. When I came here I thought India had a larger population. I was wrong. China has more. Not that much more, but a bit more. Hence the need for more phone numbers.

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Mike Durkee
Mike Durkee
Nov 18, 2022

Luck is where preparation and opportunity meet (I believe it was a notable nfl football coach that said that and I 100% agree)... I could totally get on board with having three consecutive sixes in my phone number--wonder if that is a maiden reference 🤣. The entire notion of luck just escapes me, it's like me trying to believe there is a monster under your bed in your closet in your head (do you know the musical reference? and nope it isn't Maiden)... I have been told repeatedly that "you are so lucky" bull shrimp! preparation and opportunity meet at some point.... will you be ready and prepared?

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