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Year of the Rooster

Year of the Rooster
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Monkey runs as Rooster take up rule
Leony Aurora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

With the passing of the year of the mischievous monkey in 2004, it is now time to embrace the year of the rooster. Proud, honest, and blunt are listed as the rooster's characteristics, but does cocksureness come before a fall?

"The year of the rooster carries a low element of metal," said Chinese astrologer Sukma Diputra, interviewed in his office, M2M, on the second floor of Mangga Dua Mal, where he provides feng shui and consulting services.

Considering that metal represents coins or money, a lack of it means that people have to tighten their budgets for the year ahead. "It will be a difficult, difficult year," said Sukma. Money problems will prompt increased "cockfighting", with husbands and wives pitted against each other. If this henpecking continues, it might even end in divorce, Sukma said.

According to the Chinese 12-symbol horoscope, 12 beasts were called upon by Buddha to populate the earth: rat, bull, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The animal marking the year plays a significant role in what lies ahead.

Soothsayer Mama Lauren predicts widespread money politics and possible security disturbances in the new year. Those who suffered losses during last year's elections will work hard to exploit the mistakes of the current government and to hamper the latter's reform programs, she said.

Yet, this year, many past corruption cases involving low- and high-ranking officials will come to light as a result of the anticorruption drive. The officials concerned will use all possible means -- including bribery and causing disturbances -- to save themselves.

As in many other parts of the world, Indonesia's battle against terrorism is not over yet, but Mama Lauren assured that the nation would "mercilessly" crack down on terrorists.

While a devastating earthquake and tsunamis killed more than 200,000 people in Indonesia as the Year of the Monkey drew to an end, the nation will continue to face natural disasters this year, including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, she said. "Two volcanoes will erupt and an earthquake will hit Bali, Java and Sumatra," she warned.

Mama Lauren, however, has also taken time out to contemplate celebrity affairs. She sees break-ups and divorces on the horizon, just as she has predicted in previous years. "At least four couples will get divorced and three famous stars will die this year," said the fortuneteller.

Not all predictions for the year though are negative.

Like a proud rooster, Indonesia will have the chance to smarten up its appearance with funds pouring in from foreign countries, Sukma said. Another positive aspect is that education will bloom. "The Year of the Rooster is a great year for us to plant the seeds of education," Sukma said. More courses will be on offer as people see an opportunity to make money out of the growing awareness of learning new crafts and skills. "If the government makes the right moves and starts improving the education system this year, it will see tremendous results," Sukma said.

Finally, some tips for this year: spend time at home with your spouse to avoid relationship rifts and overdrafts on your credit cards. Snuggle up on the couch together and, by all means, tune into those celebrity gossip shows, but be sure to remember who rules the roost.

Happy Chinese New Year!
Date: 2005-02-07 03:29:16

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