S is a 21-year-old Filipino woman. She is currently majoring in Business Administration at the University of Southern California. She grew up in the Philippines and therefore identifies as Filipino, however, she also identifies as Chinese. S speaks English, Mandarin, Tagalog and Hokkien, the last being two of many languages specific to the Philippines.
S: Have you heard of fung shui?
Me: I have.
S: Ok. So my mom like follows that a lot. But I don’t. But the whole thing is like, um, there are just like different spirits or energies like around us, and like you have to follow that, like I don’t know, that belief. For example, like if you buy a house, oh this is like common tradition though, like if you want to purchase land and or like a house, you want to like consult with like a fung shui person. And like make sure it’s facing like the east or like facing the north sun. Like something like that. Like facing the North Star, that way like when you wake up that’s the first thing you see and things like that. And like, if you’re in a bedroom, your bed has to be against a wall where you can see the door instead of like against the door wall. It’s just like, I don’t know…
Me: So my room is off it’s fung shui.
S: Yeah, probably. But, and then like there’d be things also like if you put certain amulets like in corners of rooms, it’s supposed to like enhance the good energy in the area or like if you have like a medical issue, like that would help it. Like there are just several things, um, people actually study it a lot. Um, it’s like a serious form of, see it’s different from like palm reading or like the tarrot cards, it’s totally different from that, this is like a wildly popular belief from like the Chinese culture.
Me: And it’s like very specific, like there’s like an actual study.
S: Yes, Like people actually study it and there are like experts and they’re like known as masters and things like that. It’s like, it gets pretty crazy, yeah.
Me: But your mom’s into that?
S: Yes, she is.
S discusses how her mom is very into fung shui which is a common design technique used nowadays which was started by the Chinese. Fung shui has to do a lot with placement and following a feel of where things should be so that the energy can flow well in each room and throughout the house. There is a science behind it, and people gain titles by studying the art of fung shui. It is unlike premonition, such as tarrot cards and palm reading or even horoscopes. Fung shui deals more with energy and spirits and positioning, it does not predict one’s future, though some believe that if the fung shui is off, it can influence one’s life negatively.