Feng Shui isn’t the a magic wand with a ‘cure all’ aura. It isn’t even associated with a religion. Yet it lures Hong Kongers into following it. It’s inscrutable power has its origins way back to 6000 years in ancient Chinese art and science. It is vigilance, combination of math, science, geology, and intuition, striking a perfect balance of energies or the qi for a peace and accord.
Hong Kongers are so reliant on Feng Shui that every important decision in their life, be it a new house, new furniture, marriage or even placing a doormat is taken after guidance from their Feng Shui connoisseurs. It’s not you who saves a relationship. Apparently, it Feng Shui!
The first PRC’s signature building in Hong Kong created a furor because Chinese born American architect I.M.Pei designed the building with sharp edges. This was believed to bring in negative energy as they looked like daggers ready to stab. Panic struck the American Consulate with people going berserk and placing hexagonal mirrors as an antidote to the supposed bad fortune. Pei architecturally built triangles in the building to face the air resistance. Little did he know that Hong Kongers would see it as a pyramid. Pyramid in Cantonese is called ‘kam te chap’ which is close to ‘kam chap’ which means ashes of the dead.
I wonder if the Beijing Commission was oblivious to Pei’s penchant for sharp edges and corners. It could be a tactic used by them to dispel the local belief and get some broad mindedness. Well, all I can say is that it was perhaps misjudgment. An Australian Millionaire turned into a pauper. Wonder why? The answer is inappropriate Feng Shui! The water in the fountain splashed outward instead of inward. In Feng Shui, water is considered equivalent to prosperity. Bank Of China also bore the wrath of having daggers pointed towards the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It is now not shocking to say that the bank was blamed for the Hong Kong Stock Market crash in 1988.
The British were oblivious to Feng Shui beliefs when they came to Hong Kong. The Chinese believed the island is a dragon facing its distant ancestor, the Kun Lun Shan. When the British initially set up base in happy valley, the Chinese shunned it saying it is not on the dragon’s vein and thus has negative energy. The British finally succumbed to Feng Shui to relocate their business which later became a hub of trade and travel, Hong Kong!