Sun City Anthem

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

You're Never Too Old to Learn....An Anthem Opinions Editorial

Getting to Learn  Another Aspect of
Chinese Culture

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There's an old saying....

"You're Never Too Old to Learn"

About a week ago, I received a phone call from Charlie Wong, one of the original founders of the Sun City Anthem  I.C.C.C. (International Culture Connections Club).  

It was during that phone call that Charlie asked if he could buy me lunch, which I readily accepted !

When my wife and I first moved to the Las Vegas area in 2005, we, like most new residents, became "tourists" and put a few miles on the "four wheeler" to see the sights of our new home town.  We knew that there was more than The Strip, but other than becoming familiar with Sun City Anthem, we believed that if this was going to be our new home, we owed it to ourselves to...

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...and experience the many aspects of the Las Vegas valley...

...and one of those attractions was "Chinatown".

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That was over 10 or 11 years ago, and had never been back since...

...and hearing that, Charlie, said, "THAT'S WHERE WE'RE GOING" see the "new & improved" Chinatown.

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Before I explain that experience, I have to tell all of you a short history of my getting to know a number of Asian individuals in the SCA community.

I've known Charlie for a long time, dating back to the time Rana Goodman of Anthem Today & The Vegas Voice and I were asked to compose an article about I.C.C.C. for The Spirit magazine.

I'm sure neither Rana nor I will ever forget the experience of searching through pictures of the Club's event history and meeting with a number of their members in order to compose that article.

It was fun, as well as a learning experience, to bring that Club to the attention of Sun City Anthem.  It was, in my experience, a culture many in the community were not familiar with prior to their relocating to Sun City Anthem.

Rana and I were then invited to a wonderful party in which we met so many  members of the I.C.C.C. who thanked us and opened their arms in friendship.

Time would pass and that "learning experience" would expand to meeting a number of people in the Filipino community.  Tito Fernandez and his wife, Grace, would be so gracious...even sending me home with a basket of fruit after we met.

At that time, if I can recall, Tito was an officer in the "Filipiana Club".

I would eventually meet Carmello Beley, as a result of Anthem Opinions' "Mr. Fix-It" Forrest Fetherolf, and his special lady, Erlinda Pedrosa...

... and following a catastrophic typhoon in the Philippines, while still a part of The Vegas Voice, we all got together and produced a fundraiser in Freedom Hall with a number of local entertainers who graciously devoted their talent to a full house which resulted in raising a great deal of money for those who lost their homes and lives during that tragedy.

That would lead to meeting a lady named Dorothy Yu of the Chinese Heritage Club.

To say that Dorothy and I have become dear friends, is an understatement.

We normally speak once or twice a week and anyone who knows Dorothy....

...all 80 pounds of her...

...knows that lady, now in her 80s, packs a verbal "punch" and sense of humor that has endeared me to her for years.

I can't forget her husband, Jason, either !

Jason, who has battled health problems this past year, needs to get well not only for Dorothy's sake, but for mine as well.

I miss the Chinese noodles they brought to our home that people still ask me about, every time Dorothy's name pops up in the conversation.


...over those years, I've had the chance to learn various aspects of the numerous Asian cultures that populate our Anthem community, and some time ago, Anthem Opinions composed an article about the Chinese New Year...what it means with the various "Years" of Dogs, Rats, etc.

With all that history in mind, Charlie took me to a restaurant in "The New Chinatown" and thank goodness he was there to read me the menu !

However, there was one aspect of the menu I did understand...or thought I did...the prices !

Though reasonably priced, the one aspect that caught my attention was that all of the prices ended in the number "8".


...and so, I had to ask "Dr. Wong" what that was all about ???

And that brings me back to the statement I mentioned above:

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Charlie smiled and told me that Chinese numbers are spoken differently than in English...

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...that  the number 8 has significance to the Chinese !

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It means...


If the number 168 is used, it means...


...that you will often see the license plate on Chinese drivers containing the number...
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...and that all numbers have significance !

So, I asked Charlie if he would send me a few tidbits that I could share with our readers, and within a few hours, I became an "expert" at what certain numbers and other symbols mean to the Chinese members of our community.

Are you ready?

3...means you will have a good life. the symbol of DEATH

5...means you're "not sure or never"

9...means infinity...forever & ever !

Most Chinese buildings don't have a 14th floor...which means you're going to die there...while they do have a 13th floor !

The color Orange...symbolizes Gold & Wealth.

...and best of all, the Chinese always wish others "Good Luck & Long Life"...meaning it should also be filled with good business & money !

So, to you, Charlie Wong, thanks for the fun lunch, the best part of which was learning more of a culture that I knew so little about until arriving in Sun City Anthem...

...even though Charlie made me pay for the lunch !

(Just kidding, folks, Charlie paid...because I didn't have 88 cents !)

Most importantly, to all Asians in our community, thanks for the opportunity of getting to know a number you, and the "welcome mat" you've always extended to me and my wife over the years.

Dick Arendt

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