Sunday, 3 August 2008

Bags of luck

One of the more light-hearted aspects of the Olympic Games is the choice of a mascot by the host nation. In Beijing, Han Meilin was charged with the onerous task of choosing an original mascot for the 2008 Summer Games and presumably having to please quite a few people with differing opinions ... It was eventually decided that, as it isn't possible for a single figure to represent China's intense and diversified culture, it's necessary to have no less than five mascots rolled into one. 'Fuwa' (or 'Friendlies') is a symbol that carries a message of friendship, peace and harmony and conveys blessings from China to children all over the world.

The mascot embodies the natural characteristics of four of China's most popular animals - the fish, the panda, the Tibetan antelope and the swallow, as well as the Olympic Flame. Each of the Fuwa has its own symbolic meaning and the abbreviations of their names combined sounds like a phrase meaning "Beijing welcomes you".

At ShopCurious, where we specialise in rather unique accessories, we've just got some stylish new faux snakeskin clutch bags and envelope bags with their own lucky charms in the form of carved Chinese jade buckles with hidden inner meaning, whether it be wealth (left) or longevity (right) - hopefully I haven't got these the wrong way around? There's even a bag with the symbol of two dragons (above left) - the very identity and essence of Asia itself. We've also a mother of pearl longevity pendant, for added good fortune.

So many symbols to choose from, so much potential luck - I'm just surprised the Beijing Olympic Commitee didn't choose eight Fuwa instead of five.
Are you?

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