Astrology trade booming amid economic decline

Feb 3, 2009 (DVB), Astrologers and astrology book publishers have been enjoying a surge in demand in Burma despite the general economic slowdown and decline in the rice and fishing industries, according to sources in the astrology business.

Despite a general decline in business over the past year, the astrology trade has been booming as people rely increasingly on astrology and yaddaya, a form of Burmese magic, to solve their daily problems.

"Now we have more people who believe in astrology but still they can’t afford to spend a lot of money on it," said Zinyaw Ni.

"Before, people used to make merits and donations but now they are putting more emphasis on yaddaya."

Zinyaw Ni said the price for fortune telling varied from 200 kyat to 20,000 kyat depending on the popularity of the astrologer.

"Some fortune tellers charge reasonable prices for fortunes but they charge more for their assistance with yaddaya," the astrologer said.

Zinyaw Ni said low-priced books of horoscopes were also in high demand from booksellers.

Soe Moe Naing, a writer who has published several books on astrology said the amount people relied on astrology depended on their level of education and intelligence.

"Now astrology books cover every event including the high school exams," said Soe Moe Naing.

One fervent believer in astrology from Rangoon said she could not afford to go to an astrologer and so had bought an annual horoscope book as a cheaper alternative.

Reporting by Shwe Aung

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