Toddlers subjected to palm-reading assessments in China

BEIJING Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:05am EST

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Several kindergartens in a province in northern China are charging parents 1,200 yuan ($190) for a palm-reading test that they claim can predict their toddlers' intelligence and potential, state news agency Xinhua said.

Many parents have flocked to palm readers for the test, used in kindergartens in northern Shanxi province and designed for children above the age of three months, the report said.

According to the company that designed the tests, Shanxi Daomeng Culture Communication Co, the reading of palms helps "determine the children's innate intelligence and potential," Xinhua reported.

In Communist Party-ruled China, a one-child policy has raised the stakes for parents who place great emphasis on educating their children in the expectation that the offspring will support them when they grow old.

Some experts, however, have dismissed the idea of the palm-reading technology.

"This technology remains unaccounted for," Xinhua quote a pediatrics expert as saying.

Fortune-telling, including palm-reading, has deep roots in Chinese tradition, although China's leaders have discouraged and punished devotees of the practice which they brand superstition.

Many people, including government officials, seek geomancy masters' guidance on financial, career and personal matters and many Chinese couples go so far as to plan the timing of a child's birth to fall within auspicious times in the lunar calendar.

(Reporting by Sabrina Mao and Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Ken Wills)

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Comments (4)
xeh wrote:
I’d like to see them try and charge £120 for palm reading in the uk! See how many takers they get.

Jan 31, 2012 4:26am EST  --  Report as abuse
Lilraine wrote:
huh… this coming from the government that tells Tibetian people that “religion is poison”. palm reading may not be ‘religion’ but it IS a spiritual practice.

Jan 31, 2012 8:36am EST  --  Report as abuse
pyronius wrote:
china is such an odd place. sure, the west has its share of strange rituals and it may just be a case of ethnocentrism, but i can’t see their culture catching on throughout the world the way the U.S. culture has even if they are quickly becoming a massive player economically. there are simply too many chances when they point out the strength of their social programs, school system, and scientific progress to then point to something like this and laugh. the ability to educate and better their people seems only to extend to a certain number in the more affluent areas of the country while the rest might as well still be living in the middle ages.

Jan 31, 2012 5:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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