Sunday, April 13, 2008

Superstitions surrounding Numbers

While searching for cars, I happened to negotiate a deal with a person from China. Well for someone like me who was a first time buyer it was hard to negotiate without proper knowledge and consequently I just randomly quoted some price. Readers, these were the early days, not that I am a pro now, but have some idea and know few tools that could ease your buying process.

So coming back to the Chinese seller, I always knew it was going to be hard to bargain. Well I based my assumption on what Russell Peters said:
"An Indian cannot live without a bargain, and a Chinese will never give you a bargain." (for sure this cannot be taken as a general norm :), it was just for humor)
If you haven't seen the video check it out at:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhGzXOWxfFs

The price of the car he quoted was $5800.00 and without my asking explained that 8 is a lucky number for Chinese and so is the reason for the price. I thought for a while and said why not I give you $4888.00 , which has three 8's.Well the person kinda got a little anxious hearing that price and said that wouldn't be possible.

I haggled that it was a reasonable price but it was in vain. So finally it was decided that he wouldn't sell the car and I continued my tryst of finding one that would fit my budget. Well if your budget is limited and expectations are high, its always hard :) lol !!!

Well, I never realized what was with the number 8 for Chinese and why it was lucky. I narrated this incident to a friend, who was well aware of the Chinese culture. This friend explained that number '4' in China means 'death' while number '8' means 'wealthy.' So with the price of $4888, though i was making him super-wealthy, I was also bringing him super-bad luck.

Then I read this Wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numbers_in_Chinese_culture
which further explained the whole deal with numbers in Chinese culture.

No surprises here, because we (Bohri) people too are obsessed with certain numbers:
786, 110, 51, 52, 7, 21 etc.

1 comment:

Candy said...

Keep up the good work.