Do famous Asians exemplify (or defy) their rabbit traits?

By Ninette Cheng
Northwest Asian Weekly

February 3 marked the Lunar New Year of the metal rabbit. Rabbits are best known for their calm and gentle demeanors, like those of wise businessmen/women. They are often seen as sensitive, tactful, financially lucky, and thus they make excellent friends and spouses.

A number of famous Asians are rabbits. Let’s take a look at which traits they do and do not possess:


The ultimate Chinese philosopher, born in 551 B.C., epitomizes the calm, harmonious, and wise rabbit.

Confucius’ teachings emphasize individual and governmental morality, justice, and sincerity.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Confucius’ social philosophy largely revolves around the concept of ren, “compassion” or “loving others.’ ” In his work, Lunyu or Analects, the educator establishes what is often perceived as the components of how an ideal man should live and interact with others. Confucius also greatly emphasized the importance of the Golden Rule.

Albert M. Chan

Film actor and director Albert M. Chan used to believe that he would become an engineer. He earned his doctorate in electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since a career change, Chan has been featured in a number of movies and television shows, including Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Law and Order: SVU, and Brotherhood. However, Chan’s real success lies in his directorial work. His first film, “Fate Scores,” was chosen as the runner-up for “Best Canadian Short Film” by the Vancouver Asian Film Festival in 2009. It has since appeared in eight other film festivals.

Chan has since been featured as an up-and-coming Asian director and actor. He was a panelist in PBS’ sneak preview of “American Masters: Hollywood Chinese.”

Gotham Chopra

Before Indian American author and media entrepreneur Gotham Chopra began his post-graduate career, he wrote his first book, “Child of the Dawn,” while he was still an undergraduate at Columbia University. Chopra went on to become a news correspondent and anchor for Channel One News. He also became the story editor of the comic book and executive producer of Bulletproof Monk.  Chopra took his success to the next step when he and his sister Mallika Chopra founded Chopra Media, launching IntentBlog and Virgin Comics (later renamed Liquid Comics).

And Chopra’s father is the famed Deepak Chopra.

Jet Li

World-famous Chinese actor Jet Li was born in Beijing, China, in 1963. Li is well-known for his Chinese “Once Upon a Time in China” movie series and his move into American films in “Lethal Weapon 4” and “Romeo Must Die.” As a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism, Li values harmony and balance in his life.

Ming-Na Wen

Macanese-born actress Ming-Na Wen, born in 1963, is best known for her work as Dr. Jing-Mei “Deb” Chen on NBC’s “ER.” Wen also voiced the lead character in Disney’s “Mulan” and starred in “The Joy Luck Club” and “Street Fighter.” Wen’s name is literally a rabbit characteristic: “enlightenment.”

Tiger Woods

The former number one ranked golfer in the world seems to only carry some of the rabbit traits. There is no doubt that Woods, born in 1975, has been successful in his career and rewarded financially. As the highest-paid athlete in the world, Woods earned $90.5 million in winnings and endorsements in 2010 alone. He has the most PGA wins as an active golfer and is the third-highest winner of all time.

However, Woods’ recent marital issues have hardly proven him to be sensitive, tactful, or a good spouse. Woods’ extramarital affairs began to surface in November 2009. The following year was a nightmare for the golfer as multiple women came forward as mistresses. Woods lost endorsement deals with Gillette, Accenture, AT&T, amongst others.  Woods and Elin Nordegren officially divorced in August 2010.

Vijay Singh

Another golfer, Indo-Fijian Vijay Singh, is also a rabbit. The golfer’s name means “victory” in Hindi.

Born in 1975, Singh was ranked number one for 32 weeks in 2004 and 2005. He is the winner of the Masters in 2000 and the PGA in 1998 and 2004. Singh is the only Fijian world-class golfer. ♦

Ninette Cheng can be reached at

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