Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Chinese Animism & Gambling (多神信仰与赌博)


Most Asian Chinese are animists and they worship just about anything: rocks, anthills, trees, animals etc. Malaysian and Singaporean certainly top the list, followed by the Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese. Westerners would not understand why these Chinese folks are so fond of worshipping almost everything they come across. Well, being a Malaysian Chinese; I certainly have no doubt that the sole motivation behind these spiritual worships is for ‘luck’. In another words, Chinese believes that spirits can help them in getting the best bets in gambling.

Most of the Taoist temples have one sort of giving out lucky number services or another. And there certainly are lucky ones and unlucky ones; but the number of the unlucky ones would usually be many folds more than the lucky ones. News of disappointed gamblers burnt down some temples because of inaccurate lucky numbers given are no news too.

News reports from Taiwan concerning many statues of Taoist deities found amongst rubbish in rivers after the announcement of lottery results has become a norm. This is perhaps the revenge of those disappointed gamblers towards their once revered gods or goddesses. Of course, Malaysians are more ‘polite’ in that the deities are left under huge trees to rot. Heavy fines for littering certainly prevent those disappointed Singaporean gamblers from throwing the statues just anywhere… but I am sure there are places where these useless deity statues can be disposed of.

In Malaysia and Singapore one can purchase lotteries or 4D numbers, and in Taiwan there is the ‘patriotic lottery’ (爱国奖卷) and the ‘everyone’s lucky picks’ (大家乐). The everyone’s lucky pick is simply another betting that is based on the last two digits of the patriotic lottery. That is to say that the betting of this lucky picks only betting on numbers between ‘01’ to ‘99’. Of course, elsewhere other picks to try one’s luck would be on horse races, dog races etc.

Since one’s money is limited and the combination of lucky numbers are many, unless a potential gambler has an extra ordinary prediction capability and to get rid of one’s guilt; it is still best to consult a rock, tree, anthill or animal for the best lucky number. As a rule of thumb, the place for getting one’s lucky number can be just anywhere: be it in a temple, at the graveyard, in the jungle, at a rock or under a huge banana tree. The timing of getting the number is normally after 9pm.

In order to get the number outside of a temple, one can employ a medium; or any methods described in this blog. Of course, with spirits and gamblers around; more stories shall entail. Again, I don’t like to gamble but only interested to share the stories of gambling that I have heard. So stay tuned!

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