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Posts Tagged ‘year

Time is a human construct. It is on that basis that we are in the year 2019.

If you take the lunar calendar into account, the new year only arrives on 5 Feb. The Year of the Dog makes way for the Year of the Pig.

One of the hottest items that people here will queue endlessly for is bak kwa (pork jerky).

Last week I wondered out loud to my wife if there was something wrong with selling, buying, or pigging out on bak kwa in the Year of the Pig. I should have looked online first because I found this image:

Yes, there is bak kwa in the shape of pig silhouettes. While bak kwa can be eaten all year, I have no doubt that some will take advantage of this once-in-twelve year joke.

We live in an Information Age because it (information, not bak kwa) is so readily available. But it might just as well be an Ignorant Age if we do not bother to look, or worse, not know how to. In the worst case, we do not know if what we find is valid and reliable.

Piggy Year or not, it is a timeless mindset to be skeptical and a timeless skill set to problem seek and then problem solve. We could all use some timeless reminding of this timeless message:

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. — Alvin Toffler

I have a lunar tic at this time of year. I have to resist the urge to point out we just marked the Lunar New Year (LNY), not the Chinese New Year (CNY).

Wishing someone a happy CNY is perfectly fine if you are celebrating in China.

If you are not in China, you are not thinking about the non-Chinese who also celebrate the LNY, e.g., some Thais, Vietnamese, Koreans, Japanese.

Some do not give a damn and others call this semantics. I call this being inclusive and taking a global perspective. It is about adopting a flexible mindset instead of clinging to a fixed one.

One definition of a tic is an idiosyncratic and habitual feature of a person’s behaviour.

I exhibit a “tic” every Lunar New Year. I insist on calling this time of year the start of the Lunar New Year, not Chinese New Year.

Why? Simply because it is not just the Chinese that celebrate it. The Wong Fu group can explain.

Video source

This year we celebrate the start of the Lunar New Year of the Rooster. I hope that more people resolve to be more understanding and less ignorant instead of hiding behind old labels or preconceived notions.

Learning is about lasting change and this often starts with the unlearning of what we might hold dear. Chinese New Year is inaccurate and exclusive. Lunar New Year is not. This is not a semantic game, but a reflection of values and mindsets.

Instead of wishing people a happy Chinese New Year, I make it a point, at least in writing, to remind folks that it is a Lunar New Year. Yeah, I am fun to be around.

The fact is that the Lunar New Year is not restricted to a place or a race. It is not just the Chinese who celebrate it. It is based on the lunar calendar. Oh yes, I am really fun to be around.

In case anyone wants to make the case that there are other lunar calendars (yes, there are), I would point out that this one marks a new year in China and parts of Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, etc. Are we having fun yet?

So to my fellow apes who are born in the Year of the Monkey, I also remind you that a monkey is not an ape.

Year of the Horse by snap713, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  snap713 

The Chinese zodiac tell us that this is the Year of the Horse.

At CeL’s department meeting last Friday, I told my staff that 2014 would be the year of change. More change than usual, that is.

On the personal front, last year seemed to be the year of talks for me. I was invited to give several even though I dislike talks.

This year is already turning out to be a year of school-based consultations. So far a handful have asked me to advise them on their technology-enabled journeys.

Like the talks, I can barely spare the bandwidth. Certainly not when I am teaching and barely when I have other change initiatives to manage.

But I think that action is still better than talk. So I will see which schools have the best fit and I will do my best to help.

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