Sunday, August 16, 2009

The colour 'black' and the Chinese

When I was still schooling, I dreaded going to school after the end-of-year holidays. The first day of any school term is called the 'black Monday'. It just shows that it is an unpleasant day because we have to face the boredom of schooling again.

To the Chinese, black is considered unlucky. If a crow were to perch on one's roof, it is considered a bad omen because death is imminent or something unlucky is going to befall the household.

The Chinese also wear black clothing during mourning period to express sadness or grief experienced over the demise of a loved one.

To the Chinese, wearing black clothing is discouraged too if it is not for mourning purposes. It is believed that ghosts and spirits like to get attached to the black attire of the person and go home with him or her. How frightening it will be if this happens. Do you dare to wear black dress after reading this post?

Hokkien people term weddings and birtdays as 'pek su' or 'white matters' and 'things to do with death or funeral' as 'or su' or 'black matters'. Hence the colour black carries negative meaning and relates to unlucky things in general.

In English, a person who brings disgrace to his family is called 'the black sheep of his family.' If one has violated so many rules of a society or financial institution, the person's name will be blacklisted which means he will not be allowed to rejoin the society or borrow from a bank and so on because he is bad.

To put words on a piece of paper is to write it down in black and white because the ink is usually black and the paper white.

So much for rattling on the colour 'black'.

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