A large part of Chinese superstitious beliefs is tied up in numerology – lucky numbers and unlucky numbers. I talked about it before in Rich Chinese ; crazy things are done and large amounts of money is spent to get the right numbers and avoid the bad ones. Barry Li, author of The New Chinese: How they are changing Australia recounts a story of a Sydney house that failed to achieve the same ludicrous selling price as other Sydney properties, all because it had the street number of 74 (it probably still sold for other 1million AUD though). With different tonal inflictions, the pronunciation of 74 can easily become ‘wife dies’, ‘angry to death’ or ‘die together’, so Chinese buyers steered clear.
“The morning Barry Li woke up with the worst hangover of his life was the moment he realised he no longer belonged in China. It was the day after New Year’s Eve 2010, and the […]
There are plenty of things being done and still more about the frustration Barry Li shares about homeownership in his book The New Chinese: How They Are Changing Australia.
Foreign homeownership has been an element at the heart of the debate over Australian housing market price increases. The Chinese are regularly blamed for the price hike, purportedly pushing new owners out of the competition, and rising rental prices for lack of availability.
Local Chinese families aren’t immune either, unable to compete with Chinese buyers who are helped by “their entire family, who [have] a lifetime of savings in their pocket boosted by the economic boom”.
Interview with Kevin Turner, “How to Attract Chinese Buyers”, RealEstateTalk, July 21st 2017. Kevin: In the last 30 years, China has transformed itself into one of the world’s leaders in political, economic, and social relations. With Australia […]
“’Rich’ and ‘poor’ are relative terms, of course. Australians are unlikely to meet Chinese people who are living below the poverty threshold. Such people do not have enough money to travel here for a holiday or to study, and they certainly do not have the money to invest in Australian property. In this sense, all the Chinese people you meet in Australia are rich.”
Rich Chinese. Have any two words gone together more smoothly before in the Australian accent? The two seem inseparable while the alternative – Poor Chinese; spoiler alert for the next extract – is an oxymoron. This transcript from a conversation at an Aussie BBQ is about as authentic as it gets:
“Hey, Dazza mate, who bought the big house down the road?”
“Yeah, nah mate, dunno. Probably Chinese.”
By Barry Li Most Australians are familiar with China’s “one child policy”. Enforced around the time of my birth in China three and a half decades ago, this policy evolved into a “two child policy” […]
Why should I read this book? What a good question, Barry Li.
This is the third part of my elongated discussion of Barry Li’s book The New Chinese: How They Are Changing Australia. The first part was about his parents, then next himself, and now me – yay! (I’m Australian, in case that point’s been missed). But please don’t feel excluded if you’re not an Aussie from DownUnder, because “if you feel you are surrounded by Chinese, or your life is impacted by the Chinese in some way, or you seek to profit from trading with China” then I imagine this book is also for you.
In 2013 my wife and I were looking to buy our first home – something bigger in a nice suburb with a good school nearby. During the inspection for a three-bedroom unit in Killara I […]