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This blog celebrates the beauty of Asian men by illustrating the depth and variety that is so often missed by those who make foolish statements like "All Asians look the same." It is primarily a photo blog, but I will also occasionally write comments related to Asian men and gay life as it relates to them.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Greenhouse Effect (A World of Color, Day Five)

Note: This is part 5 in a series of posts titled A World of Color. You can read the previous posts here: Introduction, Red, Orange, and Yellow.

I hope you are enjoying our little journey through color symbolism. More likely, you are much more interested in the photos than the text, which is perfectly fine, since I am enjoying the research about this regardless. One thing we have noticed with the earlier submissions is that colors can have a duality of meaning. Red can represent love or anger, cupid or the devil. Yellow has meant both gallantry and cowardice at different places in time. Green is no exception to this.

One of the most obvious associations with the color green is growth, as in plant life in nature. However, green can also be used to describe inexperience, as in "green behind the ears." Green can intimate good health ("green thumb") or sickness ("green around the gills"). Green can refer to health, balance, and harmony. But it can also describe envy, jealousy, and ambition.

I was actually surprised, as I studied this, how varied the associations with green are in everyday life. Consider these examples:

  • Green is strongly associated with Ireland and good luck (think leprechauns and clovers).
  • We noted before that green, when coupled with red, is a primary color of Christmas.
  • Green is related to the military, (camouflage).
  • Green gives a feeling of safety (a green light).
  • Green can speak of wealth (money, particularly in the US).
  • It can indicate something new, fresh, better (greener pastures).
  • Olive green is the traditional color to indicate peace.
  • Green is a holy color to Muslims.
  • An old-wives' tale says that sleeping on a green pillow will prevent baldness.
  • In Celtic mythology, green was the color of fertility. This symbolism continued through many centuries, although some Christians fought against its use because it had been used in pagan ceremonies. However, in Renaissance art, for example, a pregnant woman's dress may be green.
  • Green was a sacred color to ancient Egyptians, speaking of the hope and joy of spring.
  • Green is the most restful color to the human eye. It can have healing effects and calming effects. It can improve vision. Time seems to pass faster in a green room. When London painted the Blackfriar Bridge (a spot notorious for jumpers) green, suicides there dropped 34%.

Little Green Men....