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Destiny and divination: Online fortunetelling booming among young people in Hong Kong


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SOURCE: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/destiny-divination-online-fortunetelling-booming-among-young-people-hong-kong-n1265052
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SectionsTVFeaturedMore from NBC Follow NBC News HONG KONG — Every day during his lunch break, Sean Cheng, a fortuneteller, pulls out his phone, logs onto Instagram and checks his messages for new client appointments.He replies to comments from online followers and gets ready to run his divination side business, right after he gets off work at a marketing company in Hong Kong.Cheng, 25, began teaching himself tarot card reading in college a few years ago and set up his own online fortunetelling business in February. Rather than talk to family and friends, she said she felt safer speaking to a stranger and leaving her destiny up to what she called "spiritual energies."Historically, fortunetelling has been a significant part of everyday life in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China as far back as written records go — dating to the Oracle Bones of the Shang Dynasty that lasted from 1600 to 1046 B.C., which ancient kings used when seeking divine guidance, said William Matthews, a fellow in Chinese anthropology at the London School of Economics.Although the concept may feel unfamiliar in the West, where people are aware of fortune cookies and newspaper horoscopes, fortunetelling tends to be much deeper and based on dates of birth, cosmic principles and ancient books such as the Yijing or "Book of Changes," a divinatory text at least 2,000 year old, Matthews said.Fortunetelling commonly takes the form of coin throwing, drawing lines, annotating charts, palm or face readings and relying on lunar calendars to help people "assess compatibility" with a potential spouse or decide whether to take a new job or move to a new house, he said, and is not the same as spirit-mediumship."People use it really as a decision-making technique, for significant life events," Matthews added.

As said here by Salina Li, Adela Suliman