Fortunetelling: A Recession-Proof Profession?

Yesterday’s Sunday Chicago Tribune had an interesting article by Ju-min Park about how in South Korea, fortunetellers are quite a hot commodity—especially in this Great Recession. In fact, there are hundreds of saju cafes, where people can go for consultations before getting married, changing residences, or starting a new job for $10-15 per half-hour session.

Park writes, “In South Korea, a modernized nation that nonetheless keeps in touch with a culture of mysticism, young job seekers hope to peer into the future with a little help from the past.” According to Paik Woon-san, chairman of the Association of Korean Prophets, more than 300,000 fortunetellers are practicing in South Korea, and he says that reading fortunes was a “recession-proof profession.”

(Could you imagine Korean moms telling their kids to study hard so they can become doctors, lawyers, and…fortunetellers?)

Anyway, I always found it fascinating that hardcore, church-going Koreans consult their fortuneteller before making life-altering decisions—some even seeking multiple opinions before taking action. Here in America, psychics are not so widely embraced, though I have been noticing that there have been slight shifts. Hey, even Bernanke is making predictions! (I’m referring to his prediction that we’ll be getting out of this recession by the end of 2009.)

Anyway, we can only hope, right? In the meantime, I think I’ll go shuffle my tarot cards and see what’s in store for me. Should I set up my own saju corner at my neighborhood Starbucks? Hmmmmm….


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