Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Singapore Flyer

Advanced News: Feng Shui and the Singapore Flyer | Heads Up English | ESL Lessons
Advanced News: Feng Shui and the Singapore Flyer
Sunday, 10 August 2008

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice which purports a connection between heaven and earth, both of which directly influence a person's positive energy. Masters of the traditional practice believe that the energy affects prosperity, particularly health, wealth, and personal relationships, and determines favorable places for homes, burial sites, agriculture, and the like. It's now spread outside China, and is often used to ascertain the most favorable arrangement for furniture in homes. It even influences building design, the latest of which is Singapore's observation wheel, the Singapore Flyer.

The Singapore Flyer is the world's largest Ferris wheel, at forty-two storeys tall. It has twenty-eight air-conditioned cars, each of which can hold twenty-eight passengers. The cars face the business district as they rise, and then face the sea and beaches as they complete their journey. But Feng Shui experts iterated that the counter-clockwise rotation of the wheel stole good fortune from the city. The Flyer went against the sun and sent that energy out to sea.

Rather than scoff and dismiss the Feng Shui masters, the chairman of the Flyer considered the recommendations. Singapore may be an ultra-modern city, but many traditional values and beliefs still maintain sway. As a result, it mattered less that the changes cost some six figures (the exact amount remains undisclosed). The chairman justified the expense, likening the change to putting together the perfect ending to a movie.

Many other structures in Asia have had large amounts of money spent in order to tap into the energy. A skyscraper that looked like a giant candle had a pool constructed on the roof, as water puts out fire. Another building was redesigned to include a massive square hole in the middle to follow the dictates of Feng Shui. The wheel, as of August 4th, now rotates clockwise, and brings good fortune to the whole of Singapore.

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