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为奔“金猪”亚洲掀起婴儿潮

2007-02-16 08:57中国日报网

Asian parents pick lucky lunar year for "piglets"

A baby boom is about to hit parts of Asia, as couples try to ensure their newborns get a happy, wealthy life by starting off in the Year of the Pig.

This Chinese lunar new year, which starts on February 18, is believed to be an especially auspicious "golden pig year" which only comes around every 60 years.

South Korea is going a step further, saying it's the best time in 600 years to have a baby due to an anomaly on the Chinese calendar where this pig year -- known as "red," the color of wealth, follows a year with two days to mark the start of spring.

In China, where most families are allowed only one child, baby-related businesses are bracing for an influx of "piglets " .

"The Year of the Pig will certainly be busy. There will be a lot of precious pigs born this year, because of the Chinese superstition that pig babies will have an easy life," said Tian Hua, who manages a nanny sourcing firm in Shanghai.

Tian's firm specializes in caring for mothers and infants during the first month after birth, when Chinese tradition holds that a woman should rest and eat special foods.

Her 200 nannies are booked through July, and the company has raised prices by up to 45 percent, she said. Hospitals in mainland China and Hong Kong are also heavily booked.

In South Korea, which has one of the world's lowest birth rates, the Year of the Pig could herald the bundles of joy that years of government incentives have failed to create.

South Korea has seen a recent rush of expectant mothers at maternity clinics , keen to have their babies after February 18.

Fortune teller Kang Pan-seok, however, says 2007 is not the super lucky event it's been hyped up to be.

"The government is selling people on the golden pig year in order to have more babies," said Kang, vice director of the Korean Fortune Tellers Association.

"This is just a red pig year, but I don't mind because I have been swamped with customers seeking advice."

But the red or golden debate does not matter to South Korean companies, who are interested in the color of money.

亚洲部分地区即将掀起一波婴儿潮。大多数夫妇为给孩子讨个好彩头,都选择在猪年生宝宝,希望生肖猪能保佑“猪宝宝”一生殷实无忧。

2月18日将迎来中国农历新年。有说法认为,这一年是60年不遇的“金猪年”,是个难得的吉利年份。

韩国人的说法更“神”,他们说按照中国历法,象征财富的“红”猪年紧跟在“双春年”狗年之后,这一年出生的“猪宝宝”最吉利,要600年才能轮上一次。

在中国,大部分家庭只能有一个孩子,因此,为奔金猪而来的“小猪潮”将带动一系列婴儿相关产业链。

上海一家月嫂公司负责人田华说:“根据民间传说,属猪的孩子会生活得很安逸,因此,即将来临的猪年会非常忙碌,将会有许多重量级小猪宝宝问世。”

田华的公司专门为新生婴儿和产妇提供产后第一个月的护理。中国人历来认为,女人在产后第一个月需要好好保养,并要格外注意饮食。

据悉,早在去年7月份、仅仅一个月时间里,田华的公司就有200名月嫂被预订出去。公司的服务费现已比原来增长了45%。目前,无论是中国大陆还是香港,医院的产科病房都被产妇订满了。

韩国是世界上生育率最低的国家之一,韩国政府采取的促生育措施始终不见成效。不过,金猪年的来临极大可能改变这一窘境。

在韩国,妇科门诊已经出现了一个孕妇高潮,准妈妈们都希望自己的孩子在2月18日后问世。

算命先生Kang Pan-seok说:“2007年并非绝顶地幸运,它被吹得有些离谱了。”

这位韩国算命协会的副会长还说:“政府为了提高生育率就向人们‘推销’金猪年”。

“今年充其量也就是个‘红猪年’。不过,正是因为‘红猪’,来我这儿求签的顾客才络绎不绝,所以我并不介意政府的宣传措施。”

对韩国公司而言,他们才不在乎“红”“金”之争呢,他们只在乎能否能盈利。

Vocabulary:

golden pig year: 金猪年

piglet: piggy(小猪)

maternity clinic: 妇科门诊,参照热词“产妇”相关用语

fortune teller:算命先生

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