Baby Boom in the Chinese Year of the Dragon

 

2012 is the Chinese year of the dragon. Tradition shows that babies born in such a year are truly something special. And 2012 is no exception. More and more Chinese couples are willing to spend money to have a baby in the year of the dragon. This year is especially promising because it is the year of the water dragon, which comes only once every 60 years.

China is expected to have more births in the year of the dragon than in any other year of the Chinese zodiac. Population experts predict a 5% rise in babies during the year. In Hong Kong, the birth rate is expected to rise by 20%.

 

The dragon baby boom is also expected to boost economy, not only in China but throughout Asia. People want to buy houses and homes as their families get bigger. Producers of baby products are anticipating higher profits as the new year gets underway.

The dragon is a symbol of power in eastern Asian countries. People who are born under the sign of the dragon are supposed to be especially lucky. They are often said to be intelligent, successful people. The dragon is the only fairy tale creature in the Chinese zodiac. In ancient China it was associated with emperors.

 

Chinese Dragon in Shanghai

Chinese Dragon in Shanghai

 

However , the Asian baby boom is not greeted everywhere. In China, where the government is still holding on to its one child policy, having more births will put pressure on cities and other densely populated areas. Other countries, like Taiwan, are looking forward to the New Year. The smaller China has one of the lowest birth rates in the world.

Many pregnant women from mainland China go to Hong Kong to receive their babies. Authorities there fear they cannot handle the new baby boom and already complain about a shortage of hospital beds.

There are problems for dragon children in their later life. School competition for such children is usually greater than in other years and many children born in dragon years fight for high positions in society.

 

 

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Words

  • ancient = old
  • anticipate = expect
  • associate = connect with
  • authority = an official organization
  • baby boom = a time when more babies than usual are born
  • birth rate = the number of babies born every year for every one thousand people
  • boost =to go up
  • competition = rivalry, fighting
  • complain = protest, criticize
  • couple = man and woman who are living together
  • creature = a living thing
  • densely populated = many people live in a small area
  • dragon = large imaginary creature that has wings and a long tail and can breathe out fire
  • economy = the way a country produces goods and the money system that it has
  • emperor = king or queen who rules over one or many large countries
  • especially = more than ever before
  • exception = something that does not follow certain rules
  • expert = a person who knows a lot about a certain topic
  • fairy tale = imaginary , not real
  • fear = to be afraid of
  • government = the people who rule a country
  • greet = welcome
  • however = but
  • look forward to = expect; to be glad and happy when something comes
  • lucky = to have good luck
  • mainland = the main part of China, not the islands
  • one child policy = population rules in China ; every married couple is only allowed to have one child
  • predict = to say that something will happen
  • pregnant = woman who is carrying an unborn baby
  • pressure = force
  • producer = company that makes a product
  • profit = money you get by working
  • promising = to show signs of being successful in the future
  • receive = get
  • shortage = not enough
  • society = the public in general
  • successful = to do the things that you expected to do
  • throughout = in all of
  • tradition = customs, habits; what people have always done or believed in
  • truly = really
  • zodiac = horoscope ; divided into twelve parts