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A Truly August Date

7 Aug

Kassim and Siti Sholeha will be hosting their daughter's wedding today.

Kassim and Siti Sholeha will be hosting their daughter’s wedding today.

Check out the importance of today’s date, 08-08-08, with FRANCIS DASS who puts his nose to the scent of numerology.

Andrew and Chris are all ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their business.
Andrew and Chris are all ready to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their business.

Mabel and Andrew are happy that their wedding anniversary falls today.
Mabel and Andrew are happy that their wedding anniversary falls today.

A ROSE by any other name, as Shakespeare famously said centuries ago, would smell as sweet (and, let’s face it, the only specific image and name that’ll come to mind is that of a rose)!

Now, if someone were to ask you, “What’s in a number”, expect the discussion to be more heated and exciting.

And today – 08-08-08 – is the perfect day to talk about numbers. Multicultural Malaysia is a melting pot of people, cultures and ideas and so we have managed to get a myriad of views about the phenomenon of numbers.

Understandably, some are very excited about the date. For others, it is more a novelty of a date rather than one in which any luck is expected.

For starters, S.K. Chong, an amateur Chinese numerologist, says the Chinese have culturally been interested in meanings associated with words and numbers for ages.

“Chinese people all over the world name their children with word-combinations that mean greatness or beautiful things. Numbers, which affect every aspect of life, have also been given meanings that are either good and auspicious or bad and negative.

“That’s why, for the Chinese, their house numbers, car number plates and even telephone numbers must mean good things,” she said.

Dates chosen for big events – from weddings to the opening of offices and launching of businesses – must also be auspicious.

The number 8 in Chinese culture reigns supreme because eight is pronounced (in Cantonese, for example) in such a way it sounds like the pronunciation for “prosper”, hence the automatic association between the number 8 and fortune.

A date with three 8s, like today, is almost like a command to “Prosper, prosper, prosper!” And who, we ask, can resist such a positive implication?

And no event in the world this very day, we can safely say, is bigger than the Olympics Games in Beijing, China.

On our shores, memorable events are taking place in the private lives of many Malaysians. And even those who don’t believe in the fortuitousness of three 8s lining up seem willing to get into the party spirit.

Take Andrew David, 72, and lovely wife Mabel Fernando, 68, who are celebrating their 44th wedding anniversary today. A very happy and loving couple, they see their anniversary this year as more as a happy coincidence of numbers more than anything else.

“I am not sentimental over numbers,” said Andrew. “I have no attachment to things. A person is more valuable and and more important for me and happiness comes from appreciation.”

But, they do get into the spirit of things and Andrew observed that 44 added up as single digits 4 + 4 also make 8.

Today’s date can also be worked out under digit summing: 08+08+2008 = 26. If you add 2 and 6 in 26, you end up with 8 again. Andrew and Mabel are looking forward to dinner with family and friends.

A young couple for whom 08-08-08 is significant is Shakira Kassim and Azizan Suhazaimi; they will be tying the knot this morning.

The unusual set of 8s is the only reason their akad nikah was chosen to be celebrated today.

Shakira’s parents Kassim S.A. and Siti Sholeha also find the date too irresistible to overlook. Shakira, 29, said: “The fact that it is on a Friday is also wonderful. Friday is a great day for us Muslims.”

When she told her colleagues and friends about her wedding date, many of them responded that the day is very ong – “lucky” in Chinese.

Vedic astrologer G. Suresh offers his readings on the effect of today’s date on matrimonial ceremonies.

Suresh was keen on giving a detailed account of how 08-08-08 would unfold for couples tying the knot but we managed to cajole him into delivering a more lighthearted reading.

Having keyed in the date and general data into his laptop computer, Suresh said: “In morning wedding ceremonies, the wife will receive all the support she needs on this big day and will be very confident. The morning groom will be an authoritative man and he will receive plenty of good advice from everyone on the dynamics of marriage.”

On afternoon marriages, it will be full of activities and there might be slight delays. Noon couples will be supportive of one another, with the wife being a tad dominating and the husband being a follower.

As for evening weddings, “the husband will be a dominating and authoritative character (stubborn, even)”. If the bride feels apprehensive hearing that, the consolation is that the husband will be an extremely handsome man and he will show a lot of care and concern over his wife.

Suresh predicts plenty of inter-racial weddings.

Another couple celebrating the date in a big way is Andrew and Chris Abishegam. It is not their wedding anniversary date but the 20th anniversary of the company this glamorous husband-and-wife team set up in 1988.

The Abishegams are throwing a big party at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre and the upper echelons of high society will be attending.

“X2 International Imagix Experts (then Xenon II Productions) started operating on an auspicious date (08-08-88) and we knew, in years to come, 8 would continue to be significant,” said Andrew.

Guests at the party can expect the unexpected, promised Andrew.
Andrew likes the number 8 because it signifies good fortune and because, “visually, eight is a number that appears never-ending – a double-circle signifying unending happiness and prosperity.”

From its origins as an event management powerhouse, X2 is positioning itself to be the premiere outfit for “branding, imaging and corporate re-imaging” in Malaysia, with international plans.

Unsurprisingly, Andrew’s mobile phone number starts with 8.

We checked on the hotels around town on bookings for today and almost all hotel ballrooms are fully booked for weddings and corporate functions (anniversary dinners, launches etc).

Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur’s ballroom is also fully booked for a private dinner function. When Life & Times contacted the hotel for this story, the hotel folk generously offered to make an ice carving to wish our readers a happy 08-08-08. The carving was made by award-winning ice carver Harun Jalil, one of this five-star hotel’s pioneering staff.

On its part, Hotel Istana is offering eight lucky couples a one-day only special promotion.

The first eight couples who make a reservation for dinner today at the fine dining Urban at RM888 nett per couple will enjoy free flow of wine and champagne, an eight-course dinner and a night’s stay for two at Hotel Istana’s Club Suite, with breakfast thrown in.

With so many happy celebrations going on around town, all we can say is that 08-08-08 is going to be a memorable date indeed for everyone.

As another Indian astrologer said: “At the end of the day, it is all about the power of auto-suggestion. Think good things and good things happen.”


New Straits Times