Thu, Feb 17, 2011 - Page 15 News List

Temple hands out red envelopes with 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar notes
五結天公生 百兆辛巴威幣當紅包

Yang Pi-tsun, chairman of the Jhihtian Temple in Yilan County, displays Zimbabwean 100 trillion dollar banknotes before placing them in red envelopes on Feb. 8.
指天宮主委楊碧村於二月八日準備一百份內裝一百兆辛巴威幣的「超級紅包」大相送。

PHOTO: CHIANG CHIH-HSIUNG, LIBERTY TIMES
自由時報記者江志雄攝

Have you ever seen a 100 trillion dollar gift money red envelope? Jhihtian Temple in Yilan County’s Wujie Township recently held an event last Thursday in which participants cast divination blocks. Anyone who got three positive results from the gods was given a red envelope containing 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars.

The temple authorities prepared 100 red envelopes to give away at the event.

The ninth day of the first month in the lunar calendar is the birthday of the Jade Emperor, the supreme divinity in Chinese mythology. Jhihtian Temple, which honors the Jade Emperor, planned a series of events to mark the day. When a friend of temple committee chairman Yang Pi-tsun gave him the 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar banknotes, he was taken aback and said “What? 100 trillion?” He decided to put 100 of the banknotes in red envelopes as gifts for people who came to the temple to cast divination blocks. Some devotees were surprised at the sight of 14 zeros on a single banknote, saying that this was the first time they had ever seen a banknote with such a big denomination. The highest-denomination banknote in Taiwan is NT$2,000.

So what are 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars worth in New Taiwan dollars? Those in the know say they are pro-bably worth only a couple of dozen dollars in Taiwanese currency. Yang says that Zimbabwe has very high inflation, and the value of its currency is adjusted several times a day. He knows people who collect currencies from all over the world, and they say that a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar banknote is traded at no more than NT$300.

Yang says that giving out 100 trillion dollar banknotes on the 100th year of the Republic of China symbolizes that everything will go smoothly in the centenary year.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. divination n.

占卜 (zhan1 bu3)

例: Gypsies use tealeaves for divination, and Turkish people use coffee grounds.

(吉普賽人利用茶葉占卜,而土耳其人用的是咖啡渣。)

2. taken aback v. phr.

驚訝 (jing1 ya4)

例: Sarah was taken aback, but secretly pleased, when Ronnie said he loved her.

(當朗尼說愛她時,莎拉感到驚訝,卻悄悄地樂在心中。)

3. drastically adv.

大幅地 (da4 fu2 di5)

例: Thanks to detente, military spending has fallen drastically.

(拜和解政策之賜,軍事花費大幅地下降。)


Zimbabwe’s economy isn’t performing well, and the country often issues new currency. Four versions of the currency have been issued since the country gained formal independence in 1980. These 100 trillion dollar banknotes come from the third currency issue, which was popular when it was first issued. But the Zimbabwean dollar depreciated drastically and was soon worth no more than a piece of wallpaper. Zimbabwean civil servants prefer to receive their salaries in US dollars. It is said that no one would even bother to pick a Zimbabwean dollar banknote up from the ground, and piles of the money have been sold as waste paper for recycling.

Foreign tourists in Zimbabwe often take Zimbabwean money home as a souvenir, or sell it online for a bit of extra cash. Apparently some grownups in Taiwan used to give these banknotes to children as gift money, but when the children saw so many zeros on the notes, they rejected them, thinking they were just toy money.

(LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY TAIJING WU)

一百兆元紅包,您看過嗎﹖宜蘭縣五結鄉指天宮慶祝天公生,上週四舉辦擲筊趣味競賽,連續擲出三個聖筊,便可獲贈面額一百兆的辛巴威幣。

宮方準備百份「超級紅包」大相送。

農曆正月初九是天公生,主祀玉皇大帝的五結鄉指天宮,規劃系列慶祝活動。「啥米,一百兆﹖」指天宮主委楊碧村獲友人贈送辛巴威幣,他拿出百張面額一百兆的大鈔,置入紅包袋,當作擲筊獎品,有些信眾仔細一瞧,紙鈔上寫有十四個零,直指台幣最大面額不過兩千元,他們這輩子第一次看到這麼大面額鈔票。

一百兆的辛巴威幣,折合台幣多少錢﹖行家認為,應該只有新台幣幾十元的價值﹔楊碧村說,辛巴威通膨嚴重,幣值一日數變,他知道有人在蒐集各國貨幣,全新的一百兆辛巴威幣,最高喊到新台幣三百元。

楊碧村說,今年適逢建國百年,贈送一百兆辛巴威幣,象徵百事皆順。

辛巴威經濟不佳,經常換發新貨幣,一九八零年獨立建國至今,換了四代幣,一百兆為三年前問世的三代幣,因為面額驚人,發行初期造成轟動,後來重貶而淪為壁紙,辛國公務員改領美元,據說辛幣掉在街上沒人願意撿,成綑鈔票被當成回收廢紙賣。

造訪辛巴威的外國遊客,常把辛幣帶回國當紀念品,或拿去網拍發筆小財,網友流傳說,台灣有人用一百兆辛幣,送給朋友小孩當紅包,小朋友看到這麼多個零,誤以為玩具鈔而當面退回,鬧過不少笑話。

(自由時報記者江志雄)

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