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Two-headed bird

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By Park Moo-jong

The turbulent year of 2019 is drawing to a close amid ever-deepening ideological confrontation between the left and the right and the worsening economic situation.

The Year of the Pig, a year of fortune and luck according to the Chinese zodiac interpretation, however, was neither fortunate nor lucky at all, politically and economically in particular.

Against this backdrop, university professors nationwide, as they do at the end of each year since 2001, chose the four-character Chinese idiom of the year to best describe the state of the nation: 共命之鳥 (gong myeong ji jo).

Literally translated, it means "bird with common destiny," namely "a bird with two heads" found in Buddhist scriptures.

According to mythology, once upon a time, there lived a bird with two heads, one facing the left and the other the right. The two heads used to fight and argue with each other, even for simple reasons, though they shared the same body.

Each head believed it could survive independent of the other without admitting they shared a common destiny.

To be more specific, one of the two........

© The Korea Times