The word “animal” in Chinese is written with the characters for “move” and “thing”. Therefore, animals are literally “moving things”. But Yuan Zai, the panda cub born in 2013 in the Taipei Zoo, is much more than a “thing” to the people of Taiwan. She’s the #2 celebrity right now on the entire island. The birth of their very own panda cub – from pandas that were gifts from the Chinese mainland as opposed to loans – was truly an epochal moment for the people of Taiwan.
That’s why it’s not surprising at all that they are so taken with Yuan Zai. They’ve been with her from the beginning – when she was pink and barely the size of a human hand – to now, as she’s just celebrated her first birthday as a lively, black and white panda cub.
(Zhu, Huiyi. “台北大熊猫“圆仔”周岁：为台湾人“冲喜”. People.cn. People’s Daily, July 11 2014.)