Tony Mangan ‘Walk Around The World’ #35

Why return to China?

That`s the question I`ve been asking myself for a few days before MyWorldWalk champion Tony Mangan and I got in touch recently. When he told me that he was again back in the communist state I wondered aloud and asked him ‘Why return there?’. Yet Tony never replied to me. So, I asked myself ‘Why not ?’

It`s not nice to communicate with someone and be given a brick wall as an answer. Surely that`s the sort of thing the American leader rather than the Irish leader of freedom Tony Mangan would do?! After all, that`s not the type of guy that Tony is. Being so happy when he meets new people and for everyone from such an array of cultures having time for him it didn`t seem to add up. It all seemed to bemuse me, so I had to investigate.

Around the time that Tony returned China was changing again. This time though it was not a political revolution, rather, it was the changing of the calendar. The Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival as it has also been known was occurring as Tony flashed his passport across state lines.

As the annual New Year occurs on no specific date due to it being based off a lunar calendar I wasn`t sure if this had anything to do with Tony`s arrival there. Although he`s Irish, you couldn`t over accuse him of praying to the Gods too often as the New Year traditions often demand. Tradition also notes that an ancient monster Nian can often be fought off at this time of the year, but, then again Tony is a lover, not a fighter. Although single, Tony`s not the type to hire fake girlfriends as he`s loved the world around by the opposite of sex, unlike many Chinese who seek the services of the opposite of gender at this time of year. Perhaps then, it was the fact that many country people receive lucky money in red envelopes, the eating of dumplings, the wine or the glorious deserts that are customary at this first day on the calendar? Not so, it seemed.

So why did he return?

Eventually, I figured it out. For it was Tony who just couldn`t miss a good party and as he had his lucky red outfit in his bag he popped it on to signify that other well worn custom of every Chinese person wearing red for the annual celebration!

About the Author

Conor Hogan
As a native Galwegian, Conor Hogan teaches and consults across the areas of education, well-being and health while also researching human behaviour for his PhD at NUI Galway. After winning regional and national leadership awards, he blogged and co-authored a book on Mental Health for Millennials. He tells us he will endeavour to enrapture the glint of the Galway Eye 🙂 You can find out more about Conor at