First Blog Post: My Zodiac and the Rat, Ox, and Tiger

Hello everyone! I’m Iris, and I am a first-year psychology student at UCLA. I am interested in food studies because I care a lot about the issues surrounding body image and weight loss and diet culture. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your food and body is important for a good lifestyle, and I am trying to learn more about this field by taking this class. I am very excited to have conversations about the food we eat with Professor Vesna, Professor Ramakrishnan, and my peers throughout this quarter. It’s nice to meet you all!

My zodiac sign is the horse, and according to Chinese traditions, there are certain characteristics associated with it. Horses are described to be indecisive, which I can relate to completely. I struggle particularly with decisions on what to eat and what to buy–when presented with too many options, I get into a stump. Sometimes, I just choose to leave decision-making up to other people because the process can be pretty difficult for me.

Personality-wise, horses have short tempers but are quick to forget negative emotions soon after. This trait really struck me because my mother, who was born in the year of the Rat, actually once described me this way. Horses are also described to be freedom-seeking animals, and routines can be difficult for them. This is something I find myself struggling with as well, especially because I always try and fail to get myself into a working schedule. It is just so hard for me to forcibly make myself stick to a daily timeline. I’m surprised to see so many characteristics of the horse align with me!

I am interested in the relationship between the Rat and the Horse in particular because my mother was born in the year of the Rat. According to Chinese traditions, rats are content with a quiet life. I think this actually suits my mother really well, as she isn’t someone to chase after big goals and dreams. Rather, she is perfectly satisfied with the way things are in the present. Supposedly, horses and rats of the zodiac do not have the best compatibility. When thinking about the relationship between my mother and I, I feel that I can agree somewhat. My mom and I indeed clash on some points, and living together can be difficult–however, I easily call her one of my best friends in life.

According to tradition, horses and tigers are compatible. The only member in my family that was born in the year of the tiger is my little cousin, who just turned 10 years of age. Interactions between horses and tigers are generally genuine, and I can see that between my cousin and I. I like playing games with him and eating sweets together whenever I visit, and I think we share a close bond (especially because he was raised around my immediate family when he was younger). 

This Chinese New Year will be the year of the ox. The ox, as animals, are often viewed as hardworking and down to earth because of their role in tending the fields. In this way, they seem quite similar to horses, as both animals serve humans in some shape or form. I would consider both to be strong, reliable teamworkers, and I can definitely see how tradition interprets the two of them to have strong-willed personalities. 

There are various ways to compare these animals, whether it's the animals themselves or the way they are interpreted through the Chinese zodiac. I chose to zero in on the supposed personalities of each animal and contrast each. In my next blog post, I will look into perhaps approaching the prompt a little differently just for some variation! Stay tuned!


Chiao, Chloe, and Ho, Fefe. “Chinese Zodiac: Year of the Horse.” Chinese New Year.

Chiao, Chloe, and Ho, Fefe. “Chinese Zodiac: Year of the Rat.” Chinese New Year.

Hox Zodiac: