August 8, 2008
8:08 PM on 8/8/08
The opening ceremony for the Olympics kicks off at 8:08 p.m. Beijing time on 8/8/08. When? Check out the World Clock for local time zone conversions. You have plenty of time because NBC TV coverage of the opening ceremonies is being delayed until 8 p.m. in your time zone.
Why all these eights? It's the most celebrated number in Chinese culture. Eight in Cantonese, baat, sounds like the word for prosperity, faat, which extends to connote all things lucky. (Has China's Olympic planners stacked the deck against us?) More about the number eight from the Los Angeles Time.
For those of us who aren't attending the Olympics, haven't yet visited Beijing or might not be able to attend next May's China-U.S. Conference on Legal Information and Law Libraries there [see Roy L. Sturgeon's (Touro) post on LLB: Beijing, China: 8/8/08 & May 2009], Beijing Time (Harvard UP, 2008) by Michael Dutton, Hsiu-ju Stacy Lo and Dong Dong Wu looks like a good substitute. Deeply immersed in the culture, everyday and otherworldly, this anthropological tour, from ancient cosmology to Communist kitsch, portrays the people of Beijing work and live. [JH]
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