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[Opinion] The Competitive Edge of Those Born in the Year of the Rooster

[Opinion] The Competitive Edge of Those Born in the Year of the Rooster

Posted January. 03, 2005 22:52,   


It seems that the year of birth is to a person as vintage is to wine. Just as there are desirable years for making good wine, there are certain years when bright talents are born en masse. Indeed, constant ratios of talents are not born each year, but their births are concentrated in certain years. Therein lies the reason why Koreans like to guess people’s fate by their zodiac signs. There are a lot of similarities among people with same zodiac signs, regardless of their age gap. (The same zodiac sign comes every 12 years.) Likewise, Westerners predict their fortunes by their constellations and Japanese group people according to their blood type.

This year is the Year of the Rooster. Chickens are known to be useful birds for humans as they bring a lot of benefit to them. In addition, as shown by the crowing of roosters and prolific hens, those born in the Year of the Rooster are extraordinarily hard working and creative. That probably explains why there are noticeably many literary men and artists who were born in the Year of the Rooster. There even is a saying, “Those born in the Year of the Rooster should never follow power or money, but work with brush or microphone.”

Celebrities born in 1933, the Year of the Rooster, attract our attention. Among the writers born in 1933 are Lee Kyu-tae, a journalist who has authored more than 100 books and a daily column on current events for a record long period; Koh Eun, a poet who has written 100 or more prose poem books; Shin Bong-seung, a member of the National Academy of Arts and writer of a number of broadcast dramas including “500 years of the Chosun Dynasty’’; and Choi Jung-ho, the great visiting journalist of Dong-a Ilbo, who has enjoyed his literary power for over 50 years flitting from the realm of academism to that of journalism. Former cultural minister Lee Eo-ryung, who became a celebrity in literary circles in his late 20s, is, in fact, said to have been born in the lunar Year of the Rooster, though in the solar Year of the Dog. Choi In-ho, an insurmountably popular novelist for the past 40 years, is one of the talents born in 1945, another Year of the Rooster.

With the transformation of the overall flow of culture from letters to images, the competitive edge of those born in the rooster year has changed from writing to acting and singing. Among entertainers born in the rooster year of 1969 are Ha Hee-ra, Shin Ae-ra, Eom Jung-hwa, Yoo Ho-jung, Lee So-ra, Kim Hyun-cheol, Yoon Jong-shin and Joo Young-hoon. Among those born in the Rooster Year of 1981 are talented entertainers like Jeon Ji-hyun, Kang Dong-won, Kim Rae-won, Cho In-seong, Kim Jae-won, Soh Yoo-jin, Jang Na-ra, Hwi Seong, Yoojin, Kim Tae-woo, Lyn, Seong Yoo-ri, Park Jeong-ah, Shim Eun-jin and Choi Jeong-won. How amazing the fate of those born in the Year of Rooster is.

Oh Myung-chul, Editorial writer, oscar@donga.com