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Thread: Fortune Telling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Fortune Telling

    There's surely more than a few fortune-telling posts buried in other threads here, but I'm not going to mine for them today. There's our horoscopes.

    Nevertheless, as this has connections to qigong, so I'm launching this new thread dedicated to this topic here because this subforum needs some luv and this story amused me.

    Future shock: elderly Chinese woman lashes out at fortune-teller when death prediction goes wrong
    PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 March, 2018, 9:15am
    UPDATED : Saturday, 10 March, 2018, 9:15am
    Yujing Liu

    An elderly woman who defied a fortune-teller’s prediction of death vandalised the seer’s stall in a chance encounter in southwestern China on Wednesday, according to a Chinese news site’s report.

    The fortune-teller told the 70-year-old woman in a park in Mianyang, Sichuan province, in March last year that she would not live to see 2018, reported on Friday.

    The woman, identified only as Wang, then spent the year in fear and prepared for her death, according to the report.

    “I was terrified when the fortune-teller told me I wouldn’t be able to live till the end of last year. I worried every day,” Wang was quoted as saying.

    Fortune-teller linked to disgraced Chinese security chief Zhou Yongkang jailed for corruption

    But she remained in good health, despite the fears.

    When Wang ran into the fortune-teller in the park this week, she took her anger out on the stall.

    A police officer intervened and asked the fortune-teller to apologise to Wang for causing mental suffering.

    Fortune-telling is a widespread in China, with predictions usually based on people’s names, time of birth, Chinese zodiac signs, facial features and palms.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Old Skool trades

    Print publishers are joining this list soon. I've long hoped I wouldn't live to see that day, but it's coming fast and I'm living longer than expected. You can support us by subscribing.

    Fortune tellers, letter writers and the last of Hong Kong's traditional trades
    Published 18th February 2019

    Credit: Gary Jones

    Written by Lindsay Varty
    Lindsay Varty is a Hong Kong-based journalist and professional rugby player. The following is an edited excerpt from her book "Sunset Survivors," accompanied by photos by Gary Jones.

    From fortune tellers to professional letter writers, many of Hong Kong's street-savvy, traditional entrepreneurs have devoted their entire lives to ancient and increasingly forgotten practices.
    These tenacious tradesmen and women -- however clandestine against the city's frantic urban backdrop -- are essential ingredients in Hong Kong's cultural identity.
    But with almost no willing successors, skyrocketing rents and little chance of competing with larger companies, simply surviving has proven almost impossible. Along with photographer Gary Jones, I captured a glimpse of the hardy few who have battled the odds and continue to run their businesses today.

    Mak Ping Lam, traditional seal maker

    Mak Ping Lam learned the art of seal-making from his brother-in-law, and has since passed on his trade to his son, who works with him. Credit: Gary Jones

    Despite having been in the seal-making business for half a century, Mak Ping Lam keeps his tools simple: a few rusty knives, a small wooden vice, one scrap of sandpaper and the bottom half of a soda can, which he uses as an ink tray.
    Chinese seals, or 'chops,' were used as a form of identification for legal papers, bank transfers and documents requiring authorship. In mainland China and Taiwan, they are still used on checks in lieu of a signature, though not in Hong Kong.
    To make a seal, Mak drafts a 2-square-centimeter (0.6-square-inch) design, and draws a mirror image of it onto the base of the seal. Only then can he begin to etch it into stone.
    "Some fortune tellers tell people to come here, make a chop to put on their desk and they will get good luck," he said. "I don't know if it works or not."

    Au-yeung Ping-chi, paper effigy maker

    Au-yeung Ping-chi hand-makes paper effigies, which are burned as offerings to the deceased. Credit: Gary Jones

    Burning paper effigies as offerings to the deceased is a common religious practice in Hong Kong. Artists carefully bend thin strips of bamboo into various shapes, before coating them with joss paper and paint.
    For ten hours every day, effigy maker Au-yeung Ping-chi hand-makes some of the most detailed and often bizarre paper designs found in Hong Kong. From food, clothes and houses, to laptops and even full-sized massage chairs, he produces replicas of items that customers hope will join their loved ones in the afterlife.
    Over the years, Au-yeung has seen people's requests change, from simpler pleasures like shoes to more modern items, like Nintendo Gameboys.
    "People in the past were simpler -- they didn't need much even when they were alive," he said.
    "When I die, I would like some cars, houses and a hi-fi system ... A super deluxe seven-foot-long Mercedes-Benz and Porsche will do."

    Luk Shu Choi and Luk Keung Choi, copperware craftsmen

    The Luk brothers are sons of the late Luk Bing, who established Bing Kee Copperware in the 1940s. The store still produces copper items for restaurants, homes, tea shops and hotels. Credit: Gary Jones

    In the 1950s and 1960s, most Hong Kong families used copperware pots, pans and kettles. But the material was gradually replaced by stainless steel, which is easier to clean and less reactive to acid.
    Chinese herbal tea shops still choose copper over steel -- as do some chefs, because of its ability to heat quickly and evenly. However, very few places in Hong Kong continue to make these products.
    The Luk brothers learned the trade from their father, and they still work in the family's old shop. It takes a full day to finish one pot, which they sell for about 700 Hong Kong dollars ($89). Their shop is brimming with handcrafted kitchenware, urns, door knockers and other trinkets.
    "I cook with copper utensils," older brother Luk Shu Choi said. "But I also like to use an electronic rice cooker as it's really convenient. You can't just stick with the old things; we also have to follow trends and the development of the world."

    Chan Lok Hoi, bamboo birdcage maker

    Chan Lok Choi has been making cages since he was 13 years old. He still operates from a small shop in the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. Credit: Gary Jones

    Chan Lok Choi has been making birdcages since he was just 13 years old. Taught by his uncle and another famous cage-maker, Chan's craft sees him bending bamboo rods into place, carving patterns or scriptures onto them and then painting the cage.
    Taking caged birds to parks in the morning was once a common practice in Hong Kong. You would often see the cages hanging from trees, while owners read newspapers or played mahjong.
    A handful of these bird-lovers can still be found today, either in the city's parks or at the Yuen Po Bird Market, where Chan's shop is located. But criticism from animal rights groups and the arrival of avian flu in 2012 -- which led to caged birds being banned on public transport -- have dampened this tradition.
    "I would love to have an apprentice," Chan said. "But no-one with a school education seems to be interested in learning these handicraft skills any more."
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Continued from previous post

    William Kam, fortune teller

    Fortune teller William Kan operates a stall on Temple Street, home to Hong Kong's soothsayers since the 1970s. Credit: Gary Jones

    William Kam is a self-proclaimed, 100%-accurate face and palm reader. Located at the end of the Hong Kong's famous Temple Street night market, Kam's brightly-lit stall proudly displays his accreditation and 25 years of experience.
    Soothsayers first set up shop on Temple Street the 1970s, offering everything from palm and tarot card readings to "bird fortune telling," where a small wing-clipped bird would peck out your future from a deck of cards.
    Kam expresses optimism about the future of his trade -- perhaps he knows something we don't.
    "Twenty-two years ago, most of my customers were locals or people from (mainland) China, but now that this street is famous, I get people from all over the world. Tourists love it here. Hopefully that helps conserve this place."
    "I tell people the whole truth according to what I see, even if it's bad news."

    Cheung Shun King, mahjong tile maker

    Cheung Shun King learned his trade from his father and grandfather in the family shop, where his first job was painting the tiles. Credit: Gary Jones

    Mahjong, a four-player game of skill and strategy, has been popular in Hong Kong for hundreds of years. It involves drawing and discarding tiles, each with a different character on it, to form winning hands.
    Today, most people opt for factory-made tiles, but Cheung Shun King continues to carve and sell them from his family shop. He mostly replaces lost or damaged tiles, though he occasionally engraves and paints entire sets from scratch. These sets cost about 4,000 Hong Kong dollars ($510) and take months to complete.
    Ironically, between work and his personal life, Cheung has never learned the game. "I would rather rest than learn how to play mahjong," he said. "But my children love to play."
    "We can't do anything to help the industry, as mechanic production is replacing us," he added. "I foresee that all mahjong shops in Hong Kong will disappear (within) ten years."

    Kan Hon Wing, tailor

    When qipaos were widely worn in Hong Kong, tailor Kan Hon Wing's family store, Mei Wah Fashion, would sell hundreds of the garments a week. Credit: Gary Jones

    Established in the 1920s, Mei Wah Fashion is the oldest and last remaining tailor of its kind, specializing in traditional qipaos and cheongsams. Master tailor Kan Hon Wing grew up in the store, which was originally opened by his grandfather.
    The qipao, or "Mandarin gown," was once everyday attire in Hong Kong. They were worn by almost all women, regardless of social class, so tailors were in high demand. But nowadays, the garment is reserved for more formal occasions, such as banquets or weddings.
    Every piece must meet Kan's exacting standards, so it takes him more than a week to make one qipao. But with shrinking trade comes exclusivity: While a qipao in the 1920s could cost as little as one Hong Kong Dollar (13 cents), Kan's dresses today sell for up to 20,000 Hong Kong dollars ($2,549).
    "Every qipao is unique," he said. "Tailors need to be very detail-minded. I will give people suggestions if their 'dream qipao' is too ugly."

    Leung Lo Yik (Chen Kau), letter writer

    Originally from Vietnam, Chen Kau has been a letter writer in Hong Kong for nearly 40 years. Credit: Gary Jones

    Letter writing was a profitable business in Hong Kong during the 1950s and 1960s, when the city's literacy rate was as low as 60%. Professional letter writers would help people contact relatives overseas, write legal documents and fill out forms or applications.
    But with the introduction of compulsory education, and the rapid evolution of technology, demand has fallen. There may now be fewer than 10 professional letter writers in the city.
    One of them, Chen Kau, has a handful of regular customers who he helps with tax forms, welfare applications or visas. Most days, he has none at all, so sits reading the newspaper or chatting.
    "The development of technology like smartphones and computers is the biggest enemy of our industry," he said. "But at the same time, it is essential for a city or any society to improve with time. There must be some jobs that are replaced or even eliminated."

    Wu Ding Keung, stencil maker

    Stencil makers like Wu Ding Keung begin by drawing the Chinese characters onto thin iron sheets, before carefully cutting them out with a hammer and chisel. Credit: Gary Jones

    Stencil making is among Hong Kong's oldest trades and was once a thriving industry. The delicate process requires a sharp eye, a steady hand and expert calligraphy skills.
    Craftsmen first draw the Chinese characters onto thin iron sheets, then very carefully cut them out with a hammer and chisel. These hand-cut stencils were used for advertising, wall notices and shop signs, though they've have been largely replaced by digital or laser-cut alternatives.
    Wu Ding Keung is among Hong Kong's last stencil makers. Stooped over a small table with only a hammer and bag of chisels, the 82-year-old can go for days without seeing a single customer, but he continues working to keep himself busy.
    "I've forgotten how long I've been working here, but I know I started before the handover of Hong Kong," Wu said.
    "I once helped a couple make a stencil for their wedding party. I liked that."

    Lo Sai Keung, photofinisher

    Lo Sai Keung's store, Sunrise Professional Photofinishing, is packed with new and second-hand cameras, some of which date as far back as the 1930s. Credit: Gary Jones

    In the 1990s, there were about 1,000 shops developing film around Hong Kong. Now, there are fewer than 50. Most shop owners responded to the demise of film by switching to digital cameras, lenses, photo processing or printing, but a few hardy shops still sell film and analog camera equipment to passionate enthusiasts.
    Lo Sai Keung's shop, Sunrise Professional Photofinishing, is packed with new and second-hand cameras dating as far back as the 1930s.
    Nowadays, he develops about 20 to 30 rolls of film a day; however, in the 1970s and 1980s, he would process about 200 a day. Most of Lo's customers are young, curious photography students looking to try their hand at analog photography.
    "Hong Kong people love selfies," he said. "You can still do them with film cameras although it's harder and you would probably need a mirror."
    "Sunset Survivors," published by Blacksmith Books, is available now.
    Fortune Telling
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    It really nice that people are doing business and earn money for the life. If you want to do so, you can take a small loan online and develop it. I would just recommend to use any financial company which provides an opportunity to take loans. You can find more info here. That is the best solution for you!
    Last edited by slink; 02-25-2019 at 07:57 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    The Seven Star Group

    Not to be too callous here, but they couldn't foresee that?

    North Korea shoots dead two female fortune tellers in public execution with tens of thousands of people forced to watch

    Three female fortune tellers were put on trial in public in Chongjin, North Korea
    Women claimed two children, aged three and five, could channel a 'spirit oracle'
    Two of the women were shot while third was imprisoned for life, sources said
    Regime decided to make an example of the women after fortune telling, which has been deemed anti-socialist, became widespread in the country
    PUBLISHED: 06:48 EDT, 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:16 EDT, 11 April 2019

    Two female fortune tellers have been shot dead and a third imprisoned for life after a public show-trial in North Korea.

    The women had formed a collective called the Seven Star Group and claimed that two children, aged three and five, could channel a 'spirit oracle' and tell the future.

    Thousands of people were brought to attend the public trial in the northern city of Chongjin back in March before the sentences were carried out.

    North Korea had two of the women shot dead and a third imprisoned for life to make an example of fortune tellers amid fears that the superstition has become too widespread (pictured, dictator Kim Jong-un)

    A source within the country told Radio Free Asia that the execution was designed to 'maintain social order' amid fears that fortune telling has become too widespread.

    The source said: 'Even high-ranking officials and the families of judicial authorities often visit fortune tellers' before arranging weddings or making business deals.

    North Korea tolerates no threats to Kim Jong-un's authority, where he is viewed not just as the supreme ruler but as something close to a demi-God.

    Any and all threats to his authority are therefore mercilessly stamped out.

    While it is difficult to estimate the true extent of the death penalty in North Korea, a UN report on human rights in the country in 2014 found public executions were routinely used as a method to maintain control of the population.

    'As a matter of state policy, the authorities carry out executions, with or without trial, publicly or secretly, in response to political and other crimes that are often not among the most serious crimes,' the report said.

    'The policy of regularly carrying out public executions serves to instill fear in the general population.'

    Thousands more North Koreans are believed to be locked away in work camps which effectively amount to a death sentence, since they will never be released.

    North Korean sources said the executions were carried out in the city of Chongjin to 'maintain social order' after the practice of fortune-telling was deemed anti-socialist
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.


    Bogus China fortune teller convinces gullible ‘best friend’, 30, she only has a year to live, swindles her out of US$210,000 to ‘extend life’
    30-year-old told to keep transaction secret to keep it ‘effective’
    Family of victim smells a rat, takes woman to police

    Fran Lu

    Published: 6:00pm, 29 Nov, 2023

    A superstitious woman in China, who was told she had less than a year to live by her “best friend” posing as an online fortune-teller, handed over a total of 1.5 million yuan (US$210,000) to extend her life.

    The woman, who uses the pseudonym, Xiaoxia, said she was told in 2021 at the age of 30 by a “senior Taoist priest” that she would not live past 31, and she needed to buy a talisman acquired after innumerable hardships to “extend her life”.

    The fortune-teller also told Xiaoxia to keep their transaction secret or “it would not be effective”.

    Xiaoxia believed the so-called priest and raised one million yuan by borrowing from her relatives and friends, with online loans, and by mortgaging an apartment her sister registered under her name, to pay for the talisman via a chat app.

    The end-of-life fraud was perpetrated on the woman via the WeChat app. Photo: Baidu

    Her family realised something was wrong and took Xiaoxia to the police. It transpired the fortune-teller was actually disguised by her “best friend” and roommate, surnamed Lu.

    Xiaoxia and Lu met online and became real-life friends in 2012.

    In 2019, Xiaoxia told Lu she had trouble finding a job and Lu recommended using the Chinese horoscope and fortune-telling to improve her luck.

    In 2020, Lu invited Xiaoxia to live with her in Shanghai. After Xiaoxia moved in, Lu introduced her to a “senior Taoist priest”, surnamed Wang, on a chat app.

    Wang told Xiaoxia her fortune could be improved at a cost of 10,000 yuan (US$1,400) a month, as well as selling her several objects to bring her luck.

    Xiaoxia left Shanghai in 2021 and stopped offering her “monthly sacrifice”.

    Xiaoxia was conned out of 1.5 million yuan in total by her so-called best friend.

    The superstitious woman borrowed heavily and even mortgaged her home to satisfy the demands of the bogus fortune-teller. Photo: Baidu

    In November, the Shanghai Qingpu Procuratorate prosecuted Lu for fraud and ordered her to return 275,000 yuan to Xiaoxia.

    In May, another Shanghai procuratorate took legal action against a man who scammed his ex-girlfriend of 45,000 yuan to gamble and later tried to escape the debt by disguising himself as his brother and telling the ex-girlfriend he had “died from cancer”.

    Fran Lu

    Fran has been a reporter since 2014, mainly covering social and cultural stories about China. She writes about lifestyle, social trends and youth culture.
    The old 'it's our little secret' ploy...
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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