Our group did a survey on Chinese Beliefs, the target groups mainly being the elderly, adults and teenagers. We surveyed 20 people from each group.
1. How aware are you about Chinese beliefs and superstitions?
The purpose of this question is to find out the awareness among the different generations on Chinese beliefs and superstitions. We hoped to see a pattern that would show whether these beliefs are indeed disappearing through the ages.
The general trend is really obvious here- the older generations being the most aware, and the teenagers being the least. Among the elderly, 50% of those that we asked claim that they were very aware of Chinese customs and beliefs, while a meager 5% were not aware. There is a significant drop in the number of people being very aware from the elderly to the adults. However the bulk of the adults were averagely aware of Chinese beliefs and superstitions. When it comes to the teenagers, about 25% of those that we surveyed were not aware of the Chinese beliefs. This shows that there is a gradual decrease in the awareness level as the generations pass.
2. Do you believe in Chinese superstitions?
Though majority of the Chinese population in Singapore are at least averagely aware of Chinese beliefs and superstitions, whether or not that they believe in it is another story. Thus in this question we want to find out the opinions of Singaporeans and hope to find out if there is a significant difference among the different age groups.
Once again 50% of the elderly strongly believes in this, while another 40% believes in them, but not to such a large extent. The rest of them did not believe in it at all. Thus this shows that even though most elderly people know about these superstitions, they might not believe in it. The same trend could be seen among the adults. However when you look at the number of teenagers that do believe in this, only 15% of the 20 believed strongly in it, as compared to the 50% among the elders. But a good number of the teenagers still do believe in such superstitions to a certain extent.
3. If you do, on what occasions do you apply such beliefs?
In this question, we wanted to find out what are the more common occasions in which they apply such beliefs, but if there were any other uncommon ones, we hope that they would state it so that we can also learn more from there.
From the results obtained, a small number of people practice these beliefs in everyday life, with the number dwindling after each generation. However a large percentage of people still do practice such beliefs during the more common occasions like Chinese New Year. The number of adults and elderly people who practice such beliefs on other occasions like wakes are still quite a large number, but there is a significant decrease in the number of teenagers believing in it. Funerals and weddings are one of the more common occasions other then Chinese New Year.
4. Have you been strictly following the Chinese beliefs and superstitions learnt?
Even though many people are aware of Chinese beliefs and superstitions, they might not follow them. Thus through this question we hope to find out how many people still do practice such beliefs.
Once again, we see a trend that the number of people who practice the Chinese beliefs and superstitions learnt are gradually going down.
5. Where did you first learn of the Chinese beliefs and superstitions from?
This question we expect to see many people leaving old relatives and family as an answer, but we would like to have a rough idea if people would actually research or learn about them through other means such as finding a feng shui master etc.
As expected, the main bulk comes from relatives and family for all three generations. Some of them do learn it from their friends, but mainly in the older generations. Hardly anyone do research himself or find other means to learn about them.
6. Are you interested in learning more about Chinese beliefs and superstitions?
The purpose of the question is rather self-explanatory. Though this question, we can see if people would generally like to learn more about Chinese beliefs and superstitions.
For this question, most people other then the elderly who mostly already know much about Chinese beliefs, are interested in learning more about it. However they do not research themselves. Thus there is this curiosity to know more about it, but they do not bother to find out themselves.
7. Do you believe that Chinese superstition is fading in the younger generation?
With all coming of Westernization, we would like to see if people think that Chinese superstition is gradually fading in our society. Hardly anybody believes that it is not fading, while quite a significant amount of people think that it is already fading. However majority of the people felt that it is not fading yet, but it would come soon.
8. Do you believe that wearing red brings you better luck?
It is a custom for Chinese to wear red occasions like the Lunar New Year and weddings, as it is believed to bring us good luck. However, it is seen that people nowadays wear dull colors during such occasions. Thus we would like to find out if people still believe that red brings us better luck.
55% of the teenagers do not believe that it brings good luck, while the rest still believe that it does. In the case of both adults and the elderly, majority of them believe that red does bring good luck to them. This shows a trend that the numbers of people that do not believe red brings them luck are on the rise.
Do you believe that the various numbers are able to change your fortune?
Numbers like 8 are believed to help change one's fortunes. In this question, we would like to see if people do really believe in this.
As expected, the number of people that do not believe in this is on a rise, from 3 in the elderly generation, to 13 among the teens.
10. Will you teach these beliefs and superstitions to your children in the future?
Through this question, we can get a rough idea if Chinese beliefs and superstitions would fade away eventually.
In older 2 generations, a very large percentage, 90% and 85% respectively would teach the children these beliefs. However among the teenagers, only 40% would teach it to their children. Thus from this question we can see that there is a very high possibility that Chinese beliefs and superstitions would fade away in the future.