My old college business professors would be using this story as a case study in cultural relations.
HONG KONG, China (AFP) – One of Hong Kong’s tallest skyscrapers has declined to hold a Dutch charity exhibition of clogs because of worries the clunky footwear will bring bad luck, a report said.
The Cheung Kong Center refused to host the show, which was organised by the Dutch consulate, because of feng shui, a diplomat told the Sunday Morning Post.
The tower’s management said the wooden footwear show would cause bad luck, because the Cantonese word for shoes — hai — sounds similar to a sigh of exasperation, the English-language paper said.
“Cheung Kong Center rejected the exhibition because of the Chinese meaning of wooden shoes. I don’t understand. It is difficult to explain as I don’t know how to say shoes in Chinese,” an unnamed member of staff at the consulate told the paper.
The exhibition, part of an effort to promote Dutch culture, which will raise money for Chinese children, is now being held at another tower in Hong Kong, the paper said.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese system, used to enhance positive energy and good luck.
The system is still very influential in superstitious Hong Kong, and highly-paid feng shui consultants are often employed to advise on the location and design of new buildings, as well as give individuals advice on how to improve their luck.
By the way, Yahoo!… when adding keywords to a story’s URL you may want to think about the order. The story is “hongkongnetherlandsexhibitionoffbeat” which means it’s “hong kong, netherlands, exhibition, off beat”, yet reads very easily “hong kong netherland sexhibition off beat.” Goodnight, everybody!