Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Year of The Snake

This will give away how old I am, but oh well. I was born on the year of snake.

My daughter, L chan, who is 5 years old, learned the Chinese Zodiac Animals at school. She had watched with me the YouTube video that Hiragana mama posted previously. So, she asked if she could watch it again.

Here is her post. (and I love reading her blog. It's full of great ideas and links that I can use for teaching Japanese to my kids.) and below is the YouTube video which picture my daughter wanted me to draw.



She then wanted to know what year she was born and wanted to find out which animal the year represented.

So we got a piece of paper, and I wrote down at the bottom "2013--snake". Then went on upward, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007.

And I wrote down the animal backward: snake, dragon, rabbit, tiger, ox, mouse, then boar. So, we figured out... she was born on the year of the boar. She didn't like that, though. She insisted that a mouse was the first one to come, not a boar.

So, we looked at the clock-like illustration of the 12 animals. I draw all the animals sitting around the circle... just like the one we saw on the YouTube. She seemed to get it, but didn't look happy that she was a boar.

She ripped the papaers; she was so upset. 


I know exactly how she felt!

When I was about her age, at the kindergarten, I had an argument with friends. They told me that they were snakes, and I should be one too. I said no, I was born in the year of piglet (Kobuta). Even the teacher said that I was wrong. I was so confused. When my mom came to pick me up, the teacher told her about the argument. She apologized and told her that she told me I was a piggy because I was afraid of snake. Piggy was my favorite animal then--it's pink, has a rounded nose and a short tail that curled. I remembered feeling shocked that I was WRONG. I didn't like that at all.

I didn't want to be a snake for a long time, but I didn't want to be a piglet either; it wasn't even one of the 12 animals. (It's not even a boar.)

So, telling your children what year they were born could be tricky... especially when the siblings were born in the year which animals are just so cute or powerful to describe themselves with.

(I don't have to reveal my parents' age, but as a child I used to think my mom's animal was stronger than my dad's. And it was seemed like so in the real life. (Hehe.))