Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society - Allen & Unwin

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society - Allen & Unwin

Teachers Notes (Middle Years) by Dr Susan La Marca Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society Adeline Yen Mah ISBN 9781865088655 Recommended fo...

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Teachers Notes (Middle Years) by Dr Susan La Marca

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society Adeline Yen Mah ISBN 9781865088655 Recommended for ages 10-14 These notes may be reproduced free of charge for use and study within schools but they may not be reproduced (either in whole or in part) and offered for commercial sale.

Plot Summary ....................................... 2 First person narrative: the author in the text 2 Family

............................................... 2

Wise Women ......................................... 3 Orphans ............................................... 4 Taoism ............................................... 4 Self-sufficiency ...................................... 4 The Dragon Society ................................ 5 Wandering Knights ................................. 5 Martial Arts ........................................... 5 Personal Growth .................................... 6 Life Force – Qi ....................................... 6 Yin/Yang............................................... 6 Knowledge is Power................................ 7 Multicultural melting pot ......................... 7 Adventure............................................. 8 Animals ............................................... 8 Real History .......................................... 9 Chinese Zodiac .....................................11 About the Writers..................................12 Chinese Zodiac handout .........................13

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PLOT SUMMARY It is 1942 and Ye Xian is living in a time of great change and turmoil in China. She takes the nickname of CC, or Chinese Cinderella, as she identifies with this old Chinese story and this marks the beginning of her own journey, a journey of discovery and adventure. CC’s father and stepmother exist in a frame of mind that is a world apart from CC’s, though she does have her beloved Big Aunt as confidante; her life is difficult and strained. When CC is thrown out of her home after a series of confrontations with her stepmother, it is Grandma Wu and the Secret Dragon society to whom she must turn for support. The society becomes her surrogate family as CC grows to appreciate the belief systems and way of life this new family offers her. The society provides CC with the support and opportunities that she has previously been unable to find with her parents. With the support of Grandma Wu and the other orphaned members of the society, CC begins to grow in confidence and ability. This very personal story is set amidst the backdrop of great change within the world. The Second World War is underway, the Japanese have invaded and occupied China and the bombing of Pearl Harbour has led the US to enter the war. The members of the Secret Dragon society are part of the resistance movement in China and vow to help when the Americans plan to bomb a number of Japanese cities. (Parts of this section of the story are based on actual historical events.) CC is a crucial member of the team and is integral to the society’s efforts in assisting the American raid and in subsequently rescuing those American soldiers who were captured during its execution. All of these heroic efforts, though, come at a great cost to both the Chinese people and to CC personally.

FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE: THE AUTHOR IN THE TEXT The nature of story and the difference between fiction, non-fiction and biography are worthy of discussion. As this book is a mixture of fiction and fact, the blending of these two forms is of interest. •

Is there something of Adeline Yen Mah in this Chinese Cinderella?

On page xiv Adeline Yen Mah declares that CC is not based on herself. •

How easy do you think it is for authors to distance themselves from a character?

How successful has Adeline Yen Mah been at creating a new person, a fictional character, for us to identify with?

FAMILY ‘Brothers and sisters should be like shou zhu, hands and feet on the same body’ (p. 61) Master Wu is pleased to see the group’s progress. He says, ‘The five of you are like one body with four limbs.’ (p. 97) •

Is the closeness developed between CC and the members of the dragon society an adequate replacement for family?

In the culture of the time, CC must return to her father without question when summoned. Family responsibility and parental authority cannot be questioned. •

How does this sit with CC’s new found allegiance to the Dragon society?

Can you maintain family ties and be involved in a group that demands lifelong allegiance?

Niang does not like CC – why? Big Aunt says that Niang ‘wants to control you (CC). You are too independent for her’. (p. 180) Despite this CC realises that even though she knows Niang is evil, she still wishes to please her (p. 209). This appears to be a contradiction within CC.


Do you think that such contradictory feelings are possible?

Why does Niang say CC has ‘bad blood from your dead mother’? (p. 218)

Big Aunt is by far the most important family member in CC’s life, yet in the period that the book covers they spend only a little time together. Re-read the moments when they are reunited (pp. 178 –182) and when CC learns of Big Aunt’s death (pp. 234 – 236). •

What does Big Aunt mean to CC?

On page 216 when Niang says CC is to have nothing further to do with Big Aunt, CC says – ‘a chasm opened and I could hardly breath’ (p. 217). •

How do you think such a pronouncement would make you feel?

When CC hears of Big Aunt’s death, ‘everything is empty’ (p. 232). •

What words or images would you use to describe such intense feelings?

Do you think Big Aunt’s death will have a lasting effect on CC’s life? How?

Do you think CC found the words from Ecclesiasticus (pp. 236-7) comforting? What do these words mean to you?

CC’s father is not a strong presence in her life. On pages 201-2 there is a physical description of him through CC’s eyes. She is seeing him here as if for the first time. •

Why is CC now able to look impartially at her father and see him as older and vulnerable?

Though CC claims to want to love her father (p. 202), the gulf seems to be impassable. •

Why do you think this is the case?

Breaking her piggy bank (page 220) is for CC symbolic of her ‘breaking free’ from her parents. She is clear about her future. •

What do you think has given her this resolve?

Preparing food together is a strong family bonding experience – eg. making dumplings (p. 100). •

Can you think of examples from your own culture where food is an important part of family life? Eg Special occasions, celebrations, rituals or a communal time for coming together.

Families – other cultures - Related texts Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah Parvana by Deborah Ellis Shabanu: daughter of the wind by Suzanne Fisher Staples Tapestry by Maria Pallota Chiarolli

WISE WOMEN What characteristics do these women share? — Big Aunt — Grandma Wu — Grandma Liu •

Will CC grow to follow in their footsteps?


What indications are there that she might or might not?

Compare the three women to CC’s father’s girlfriend, Niang: She was perfectly coifed and sheathed in a bright green, silk Chinese dress. Diamonds sparkled on her hands, ears and writ. Her long fingernails were painted red, and the strong fragrance of her expensive French perfume filled the air. p. 208 •

Do the wise women in CC’s life value the same things as Niang?

What does Grandma Wu value?

ORPHANS On page 154 Marat says: …we have no parents. Children with parents look down on us. They treat us like oddballs. A boy at school told me the other day that normal children have parents who love them, whereas orphans turn weird because nobody wants us. •

Do you feel such views are still held today in China? In Australia? Elsewhere in the world?

David explains how he became an orphan (p. 101) and his parent’s death (p. 103). Orphans are a constant in fiction, particularly in many of the ‘classics’ (eg. Annie, Oliver Twist). •

Why do you think this is a valuable device for an author?

Orphans - Related text Minnie and the Super Guys by Jane Godwin

TAOISM According to Grandma Wu education and respect for elders are the basis of Confucian thought (p. 115-6). •

Why are these two things so important to them?

Read over the scene on page 117 – 9 where Grandma Wu gives CC a lesson in recognising the impact of her own perceptions on her judgement. CC is encouraged to be ‘mindfully aware’. •

Can you think of a similar example of the ‘cockroach in the teacup’ to explain the power of perception?

Consider the discussion on page 156 about fate and death and the discussion about God and religion on pages 256 to 258. •

What are the conclusions reached by the various participants about death and the nature of religion and belief?

What do you think the statement – ‘God is in our mind’ (p. 258) means?

SELF SUFFICIENCY ‘...both happiness and unhappiness arise from within. A person’s strength lies in their desire to do the right thing by their conscience. (p. 41) CC cannot cook, nor clean, and this is something she wishes to work on (p. 51). •

Why is it so important to CC to learn such basic skills?


Some things are ‘fated’ – CC met Grandma Wu on her last day at the book-stall (p. 126). CC’s consulting of the Yi Jing, though, is not ruled by fate. CC describes it thus: ‘When I consulted the Yi Jing, I had the opportunity to make my own choice and decide my own future’. (p. 126). This ‘opportunity’ is important to CC in her attempt to direct her own life. •

Do you believe in fate?

What, if anything, rules over our destiny?

THE DRAGON SOCIETY Friendship, courage and loyalty are important to the members of the dragon society. Grandma Wu says of the group – ‘All of us believe in equality, democracy, morality, independence, justice and fair play’. p. 45-6 •

Are these the qualities and ideals that you find appealing?

Do you think they are the types of qualities considered the most important to people today?

Are they the ideals of CC’s stepmother, Niang; her father; CC’s carer, Ah Yee; or her friends at school?

Could you imagine such a group as the Dragon Society existing in our time?

Read the Dragon Society chant on pages 44 & 45. •

Is this chant appealing to you?

Take one of the lines from the second stanza and explain what it means.

Does this chant remind you of similar oaths or promises from other groups in story? Think of groups who have fought evil or wrongdoing.

WANDERING KNIGHTS The card given to CC at beginning of the story says of the Dragon Society of Wandering Knights: We help the oppressed and downtrodden. We show the Tao (way) to those who are lost p. 4 CC links the American soldiers to old stories she has heard from her aunt of ‘wandering knights-errant of old’ (p. 158) but there are many indications that it is the Wandering Knights of the Dragon Society who have many links, both in action and ideology, to various knight / warrior groups of many cultures. Sam says that ‘perhaps this quest for justice is the bond that binds us.’(p. 158) Marat says ‘I’ve dreamt of fighting battles on behalf of the underdog and righting the wrongs of those unjustly accused.’ (p. 158) •

What other links can you see to similar groups throughout different periods of history? What are these groups?

MARTIAL ARTS The practice of martial arts creates ‘inner courage and self confidence’ (p. 52) and is an integral part of the strength of the Dragon Society. Grandma Wu tells CC that kung fu means ‘mastery of a difficult task’ (p. 65) The martial arts are not only about strength and power but also stealth and control. The boys practise walking on paper to perfect the art of leaving no footprints. (p. 53) •

Can you identify places in the book where the skills that the children have learnt are of use to them?


Johnny, a boxer, fights David, who uses his kung fu skills. (pp. 63-4) David is described: (he) seemed to grow taller and more luminous before our very eyes…..Speed and power exploded from somewhere deep in his body, spreading itself in sizzling waves not only over Johnny, but the entire audience as well. (p. 63) •

Write a brief description of a fighting scene. Make up your own martial art with its own special skills.

PERSONAL GROWTH Part of CC’s need for growth is linked to her need for self-expression. When offered the chance to write for the Sunday newsletter CC says: I felt so lucky to have this chance to write about anything I wished. There were things I could say with a pen that were impossible to express out loud p. 60 Writing for her is very important: CC says ‘I loved it more than anything else.’ (p. 69) •

What other forms could self expression take?

What form of self-expression is important to you?

Do your friends or family members express their feelings or emotions without talk?

CC becomes physically stronger and is then recognised for her recent writing efforts. The two seem to go hand in hand as CC grows in all areas – well rounded / both yin and yang (pp. 94-5). Interestingly, at the close of the book when CC decides how best to communicate with her father, she chooses to write (p. 260). It is with the written word that she feels best able to express herself in ways she obviously cannot with speech (p. 202).

LIFE FORCE – QI (PRONOUNCED CHEE) the powerful life force that exists within all living things. Skill and power in kung fu come from channelling your qi and transforming it into movement and fluidity. Qi is the foundation of a person’s courage, will and perseverance. p. 52 When faced with the enormous task of coping with Big Aunt’s death, CC is counselled to ‘focus (her) energy on positive things’ (p. 240). She is also told: ‘...right makes might. So, let your convictions fill you with righteous qi to go on resisting the enemy.’ (p. 241) •

What things in your life strengthen your qi?

YIN/YANG The Yin/Yang sign is the emblem of the Dragon society. (See illustration page 66.) Yin represents female energy: ‘that which is negative, dark and cool’ p. 66 ‘Yang, on the other hand, represents male energy: that which is positive, bright and warm.’ p.66 Yin and Yang are the ‘basis of Chinese thought’. (p. 116) Yin and Yang do not compete with one another. On the contrary, they complement and transform into each other. Darkness is the same as diminished light. Light is the same as diminished darkness. Yin does not exist without Yang and Yang does not exist without Ying. Without night there can be no day. Without black there can be no white. p. 116


Can you see examples in the text of opposites that are either complementary or antagonistic?

‘KNOWLEDGE IS POWER’ Every night CC repeated to herself Big Aunt’s words: Knowledge is power. Don’t let anyone drag you down. Motivate yourself to work hard and be strong always. p. 96 These are words that CC strives to live by. •

Can you think of other similar sayings that people use to guide their lives?

For example: — Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. — ‘Believe in yourself’ p. 110 (on Sam’s piece of yellow silk from his mother) In a following scene Master Wu states ‘Language is power’ (p. 97) and ‘knowing another language is like gaining another soul.’ •

Can you think of other similar things that are powerful?

MULTICULTURAL MELTING POT Sam declares bitterly on page 105 – ‘Nationality is a tricky question.’ On pages 97 & 98 David describes how, at their school, they are being made to wear armbands that denote their nationality – all except the Chinese and Japanese students. Grandma Wu and Master Wu are dismayed at such a development. •

Can you think of other instances of such discrimination or marking, now, or throughout history?

Sam queries why this is happening (p. 98). •

Why are Grandma Wu and Master Wu worried?

Are they concerned for what this might lead to?

Sam mentions the Star of David he was made to wear in Berlin (p. 98) and other incidents that followed shortly after (p. 105 - 8). •

To what historical period does this refer?

Interestingly, in western society, some people choose to wear a sign of their faith or different cultural heritage, the head scarf for example. Some societies have been urging people not to celebrate or display their beliefs so openly (eg. recent legislation banning French students from wearing the Muslim head scarf and the Jewish scull cap as well as ostentatious Christian crucifixes). The American soldier David Thatcher says to the children that ‘everyone in America came from some place else. Diversity is what makes our country great.’ (p 154) •

How has America handled being a country of diverse races?

What other countries have been made great by their diversity of cultures?

Adeline Yen Mah paints a picture of a divided society within China and dreadful discrimination in Germany during this period. The boys have been referred to as ‘mixed race bastards’ (p. 100). •

Why do you think some people feel the need to belittle others in this way?


Why do you think Sam’s mother has given him the piece of yellow silk with the words about himself and his heritage, ‘You are German, Jewish and Chinese, all at the same time'? You are special.’ (p. 110)?

ADVENTURE Invisible ink (page 72) is part of many classic spy/adventure stories. Adeline Yen Mah has described how to make your own invisible ink and the reason why it works. •

Create a short story based around your own secret message. Make a version of the secret message from your story using the technique described in the text. Exchange stories with a classmate.

Many other elements from classic spy/adventure stories are present in this text. As well as invisible ink there are secret codes and passwords (p. 138), special secret oaths to be proclaimed (p. 129), the hiding of tracks (p.167) and dangerous escapes (p. 150). These give the story an old-fashioned feel of adventure and excitement. •

Did you think that CC and the Society were ever in danger?

What was the most frightening moment in the story for you?

Although this story is fiction, it is based around true events in a real war – the death and destruction are real. •

Does this increase the sense of adventure for the reader or bring a sense of reality to what would otherwise be a spy story for kids?

Related texts Escapes! by Laura Scandiffio Tough Stuff: True stories about kids and courage by Kirsty Murray

ANIMALS Animals as metaphors, symbols, friends and saviours are scattered throughout this text. Why? The boys are described as ‘scaling the wall like lizards.’ (p. 52) ‘Johnny rushed at David like a tiger pouncing on a lamb.’ (p. 63) •

Do as Yen Mah has done in this novel. For a creative writing activity, create a piece about a sporting or physical activity utilising the evocative nature of animals to descriptive effect.

The origins of martial arts developed from a Taoist priest’s observations of a bird and a snake fighting. (p.67) Three animals feature heavily in the text and are crucial to the story: Pigeons Homing pigeons (p. 80). •

Why are these birds so important to the resistance movement?

Dolphins The dolphin Ling Ling (pp. 58-9). Ling Ling helps them escape from the Japanese (pp. 187-9). The dolphin Bumby attacks the Japanese boat (p. 190). This story is not unlike the Aesop’s fable The Lion and the Mouse.


What is the link between CC, her nickname, and the rescue by the dolphins (p. 191)?

Panda Before reading ahead read pages 170 to 173. Predict what might be lurking in the bamboo forest. The giant panda Mei Mei (p. 174 – 178). Sam mentions stories he has heard about the Samnaja, the abominable monster of Tibet (p. 171). •

What can you find out about the Samnaja? What other similar tales are there from other parts of the world? Eg Yeti, Bunyip.

In what way are these animals (pigeons, dolphins, and panda) important to the text? How are the dolphins and panda, in particular, used as devices to move the story’s plot along or help us understand the other characters?

Does the existence of animals in the story support other messages regarding the environment and conservation?

‘REAL’ HISTORY JAPANESE OCCUPATION On page 90, CC describes a scene on the streets of Shanghai – a Chinese man being searched by the Japanese. •

What does this scene tell you about those involved in the scene and the nature of the occupation? Pay particular attention to the descriptive words.

AMERICAN BOMBING RAIDS The American bombing raids that take place in this story are real events, though some of the outcomes for those involved were slightly different. Read the historical note by Adeline Yen Mah that begins on page 262. •

Are the American airmen real people?

In what way do their stories in the novel differ from historical fact?

If the Dragon Society did not really help the American airmen, who did?

Why do the resistance fighters and hospital workers reject money from the Americans? (p. 194)

On pages 242 to 244 are extracts from letters written by the imprisoned American soldiers. According to the historical note (p. 267) these are extracts from the letters written by the real prisoners. •

How does the tone of the each letter affect you?

Jimmy Doolittle is not central to the story but is mentioned in the text as the leader of the bombing raid (p. 134). Details of his real life are to be found on the web at: The material is part of the site of the national war cemetery in the USA and details how Jimmy Doolittle went on to become a General. He was awarded a Medal of Honor and promoted for his part in the bombing raid on Japan by President Roosevelt. •

What more can you find out about Doolittle or any of the other real men mentioned in the novel?

When the Nitto Maru ship is destroyed by American forces, CC wonders, ‘Was war truly the only answer?’ (p. 140). She acknowledges that there will be a substantial loss of life. Grandma Wu says:


There is no alternative. Either we destroy them or they destroy us. This is the price we pay for China to regain her independence.’ (p. 140) •

Do the Chinese have alternatives?

For the act of helping the Americans, the Japanese massacre countless numbers of innocent Chinese (pp. 233235). They also drop plague-infested fleas on parts of China. •

Is this type of act, in the name of war, justified?

Are some acts of war more appropriate than others?

With hindsight, can we justify past wars?

• Has mankind learnt from its mistakes, or experiences, in this regard? ‘War can only be abolished through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun.’ Mao Zeodong ‘This is a war universe. War all the time. That is its nature. There may be other universes based on all sorts of other principles but ours seems to be based on war and games.’ William Burroughs ‘War is more like a novel than it is like real life and that is its eternal fascination.’ Gertrude Stein ‘War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.’ Edwin Starr (US soul singer) •

Discuss any of these quotations in relation to the text and your own opinions.

On page 178 the Japanese paratrooper Kenshio is shown to us as a real person who also hates the war. It is ordinary people like him, a drafted university student, who are the enemy. •

Does this affect your view of the Japanese? Kenshio is from the same nation that later slaughtered thousands of innocents – how can this be?

THE ESCAPE The conditions within the prison where the American soldiers are being kept are horrific. (p. 224) •

Does this impact upon your views about detention in our society?

The eventual escape is uneventful, yet fraught with danger. Research other such escapes (there are many) from similar conditions during war and peacetime. •

Do the escapes share any common factors?

OTHER REAL HISTORICAL EVENTS — Bombing of Pearl Harbour — On the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbour, 7th December, Japanese troops in Shanghai opened fire on British and US troops (told by David, p. 102) — 9th November 1938 – Krystallnacht – ‘the night of shattered glass’ (p. 108) •

Research one of these historical events. How does what you find fit with your reading of Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society?

Consider the following: — the different peoples are portrayed in the novel — the society CC describes — the history of the different characters in the novel eg. Sam’s experiences as a Jew.

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And then consider these sayings: — ‘History repeats itself’. Anonymous — ‘History is philosophy teaching by examples’. Thucydides •

Discuss these sayings in relation to the text and what you know of the historical period in which it is set.

War - Related texts Thirty seconds over Tokyo by Ted Lawson (also movie version) All quiet on the Western Front by E. M. Remarque I was there by Hans Richter The Machine Gunners by Robert Westall A hostage to War by Vassilieva Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo Little Brother by Allan Baillie The Divine Wind by Gary Disher I am David by Anne Holm No gun for Asmir by Christobel Mattingley Generals die in bed by Charles Yale Harrison Young Digger by Anthony Hill War – related texts – picture books Rebel! by Allan Bailie and Di Wu Memorial by Gary Crew and Shaun Tan Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti The Angel with a Mouth Organ by C. Mattingley and Astra Lacis My Hiroshima by Junko Morimoto Let the Celebrations Begin! by Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas

CHINESE ZODIAC The picture and description of the Chinese Zodiac on pages 268 to 273 are reproduced at the end of these notes as a handout. The Chinese Zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle. It originated in Buddhism. According to the story, Buddha called all the animals of China to his bedside, but only twelve animals came. Because he wanted to honour the animals for their devotion, he created a year for each animal. The twelve animals that appeared were the rat, ox, tiger, hare (rabbit), dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and the pig. (The legend as to how the zodiac was established is explained to CC on page 11.)

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Each animal has its own special characteristics. Many people believe that these characteristics affect events that happen during the year. In addition, some people believe that people born in a certain year will possess the qualities of that year's animal. •

Using the year in which you were born, discover your own zodiac sign. Research its characteristics. Is this you?

Research the zodiac sign of a friend or family member – how true to type are they?

The Chinese Zodiac features on many occasions in the novel. The signs belonging to the people around her fascinate CC. •

Are the characters in the novel true to their zodiac signs? Be aware that there may be a number of differing interpretations as to what the characteristics of each animal are.

CC – Horse (p. 12) Big Aunt – Rat (pp. 11-12) Master Wu – Rat (pp. 11-12) Sam – Snake (p. 105) David Thatcher – Chicken (pp. 159) Lawson – Snake (p. 160) Davenport – Horse (p. 160) Clever – Tiger (p. 160) McClure – Dragon (p. 160)

MEET THE PEOPLE ADELINE YEN MAH Readers young and old have warmed to Adeline Yen Mah through her memoirs Falling Leaves and Chinese Cinderella — both about her own unhappy childhood in China during and after the Second World War. In these memoirs, she related how, when she was a child, story-telling and writing helped her escape from the loneliness and rejection of family life. As a storyteller, she was accepted and respected by her school friends. Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society is based on one of the stories she wrote to amuse herself and her friends. SUSAN LA MARCA Susan La Marca is a secondary school teacher-librarian. She completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne at the end of 2003: the title of her PhD is: An enabling adult: the teacher-librarian and the creation of a reading environment. Susan investigated the attitudinal and contextual factors that influence the role of the teacher-librarian as an enabling adult in creating a reading environment in secondary school libraries. Susan is currently the Publications Officer for the School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) and editor of their new research journal Synergy. She is an associate editor of the journal Viewpoint: on books for young adults produced at the University of Melbourne and the editor of the books: Back to books: creating a focus on fiction (2 volumes) (1999), Books up front: investing in the value of reading (2001) and Effective learning spaces: inspiration for school library design (2003). At the beginning of 2004 Susan took up a new role as a part-time lecturer at the Bendigo Campus of Latrobe University in the School of Education teaching Children’s Literature.

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THE CHINESE ZODIAC Legend has it the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac were chosen by Buddha. Adeline Yen Mah explains all about it in Chapter Two of Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society. The Chinese New Year is between late January and early February and this is when the next animal year starts. One polite way of finding out someone’s age in China is to ask that person, ‘Under which animal sign were you born?’ If she says, ‘Ox,’ you’ll know that she was born in either 1985 or 1997. If she says, ‘Rat,’ you’ll know that she was born in 1984 or 1996 ... and so on. Find the year of your birth on the chart to discover which animal sign you are, and some of your characteristics! x

The Year of the Rat (1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) You are imaginative, charming and generous. You have big ambitions, work hard to achieve your goals and are a perfectionist. You tend to be quick-tempered and can be critical of others. You get along well with Dragons, Monkeys and Oxen. The Year of the Ox (1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009) You are a born leader and inspire confidence in others. You are methodical and skilled with your hands. Although generally easy-going, you can be stubborn and hot-tempered. You are most compatible with Snakes, Roosters and Rats.

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The Year of the Tiger (1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010) You are sensitive, emotional and loving. You are a deep-thinker, carefree and courageous. But you can be shorttempered and often come into conflict with people in authority. You find it hard to make your mind up and then make hasty decisions. You get along well with Horses, Dragons and Dogs. The Year of the Rabbit (1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011) You are talented and affectionate, and admired and trusted by others. You like to gossip, but are nonetheless tactful and kind. You are wise and even-tempered, and tend not to take risks. You are compatible with Goats, Pigs and Dogs. The Year of the Dragon (1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012) You are energetic, popular and fun-loving. You are also honest, sensitive and brave. You appear stubborn, but are soft-hearted and sensitive on the inside. You are compatible with Rats, Snakes, Monkeys and Roosters. The Year of the Snake (1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013) You are a deep-thinker and very wise. You are sympathetic and try to help those less fortunate, but sometimes you can be quite selfish. Although you are calm on the surface, you are intense and determined in whatever you do. If you are a Snake you are most compatible with the Ox and Rooster. The Year of the Horse (1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014) You are popular, quick-witted and adventurous. You are hard-working and very independent. You are wise and perceptive, but can be impatient and selfish sometimes. You get along with Tigers, Dogs and Goats. The Year of the Goat (1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015) You are creative, artistic and warm-hearted, and timid by nature. You are also gentle and compassionate. You strongly believe in what you do, but you can be pessimistic. You are compatible with Rabbits, Pigs and Horses. The Year of the Monkey (1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016) You are clever, skilful and lots of fun. You are well-liked and make friends easily, but sometimes can’t be trusted. You are strong-willed, good at making decisions and want to get on with things straight away. If you can’t, you quickly become despondent. Monkeys get along with Dragons and Rats. The Year of the Rooster (1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017) You are hard-working, capable and talented. You like to be busy, are devoted to work and skilled at what you do. You are good at making decisions. You are a little eccentric, outspoken and sometimes selfish. Roosters are compatible with Ox, Snakes and Dragons. The Year of the Dog (1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018) You are born to succeed. You are loyal, honest and intelligent, and inspire confidence in others. You can be sharptongued and stubborn, and tend to worry too much. You are compatible with Horses, Tigers and Rabbits. The Year of the Pig (1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019) You are honest, reliable and extremely loyal. You are quick-tempered, but you don’t like to argue. You are kind to those you love and make a good companion. You like to set yourself goals and carry them out, but you can be too impulsive sometimes. Pigs will get along with Rabbits and Goats. From Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society pp. 268-273

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