High number of newborns predicted in Year of the Tiger

19:17, February 20, 2010      

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Many couples in China wish to have babies in 2010, or the Year of the Tiger according to the Chinese Zodiac, wanting them to be brave and strong like tigers.

The tiger, king of jungle, represents courage, dignity and strength in the Chinese culture. Babies born in this year are nicknamed "tiger babies".

Deng Weiping, 32, has been married for six years and his baby is due in a week. "My wife and I want to start a family and the Year of the Tiger is very auspicious, so we chose to have our baby this year," Deng said.

"I hope my baby can be as strong as a tiger and have the disposition of a king," said Deng.

Many of Deng's colleagues think the same way. Among his 130 co-workers, at least seven said they planned to have "tiger babies", said Deng.

Hospitals had more expecting mothers than the same period last year. The delivery rooms of Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Shandong Provincial Hospital in east China's Shandong province were full, said Wang Xietong, director of the department.

Liuhuangding Hospital in Yantai city, Shandong, saw 70 newborns in the first five days of 2010, one third more than the same period last year.

The Chinese have long been fond of tigers and the tiger has become an auspicious symbol for the Chinese, said Li Hao, deputy secretary-general of Shandong Folklore Society.

But Li reminded parents that a kid's future largely depended on how he or she was raised, not in which year he or she was born. So, parents should pay more attention to their kids education, among other things.

The Chinese Zodiac is a 12-year cycle with each year associated with an animal and its reputed characteristics. The previous Year of the Tiger was1998 and the next one will be 2022.

Source: Xinhua
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