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City bows to Asian numeric superstition

AURORA, Ontario, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- A municipality north of Toronto is trying to accommodate Asian residents by letting them remove "unlucky" numbers from their street addresses.

The city council of Aurora, Ontario, voted this week to alter street addresses where possible to appease people from Eastern Asia who dislike the number four, the Toronto Star reported.

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Marco Ramunno, the city's director of planning and development services, told the newspaper the number four "has a bad luck connotation for people from East Asia," and it was decided to allow renumbering of streets where there is a wide enough numbering gap.

The Star said in some Asian languages, the number four sounds like the word "death." The number 14 is also considered unlucky by Cantonese-speaking Chinese, the report said.

As for the Western superstition of the number 13 being unlucky, Aurora eliminated it from addresses years ago, Ramunno said.

Ironically, the central telephone number for Aurora's regional government ends with 4444, the Star said.

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