Chinese city bans schools' palm-reading test
January 31st, 2012
02:14 PM ET

Chinese city bans schools' palm-reading test

Education officials in a northern China city have banned schools from offering palm-reading tests that were purported to predict kids’ intelligence and potential, state-run news agency Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The ban in Taiyuan comes after a previous Xinhau report that privately run kindergartens in that city’s province, Shanxi, were charging parents about $190 (1,200 yuan) for the opportunity to have their kids' palms read.

The company that designed the test, Shanxi Daomeng Culture Communication Co., claimed the palm reading could help determine a child’s innate intelligence and identify kids’ aptitudes in subjects such as math and music, and was applicable to children older than 3 months of age, according to Xinhua.

But Taiyuan education officials have “issued a circular to criticize the three kindergartens” that offered the tests, and have launched an investigation into whether the schools were ripped off by the company, the city’s education bureau chief, Ma Zhaoxing, told Xinhua.

Some parents in Taiyuan had complained about the cost and expressed doubts about the tests' reliability, the news agency reported.

Lea Walker, founder and director of the U.S. Chinese Culture Center in Columbia, South Carolina, told CNN that she understood why some Chinese parents might be interested in the palm-reading tests. She taught early childhood education at Wuhan University in Hubai province before immigrating to the United States in 1991.

"It may seem different to another culture, but there's a real and very deep desire in Chinese culture to have an idea of how your child will perform when they are still very young,” said Walker, whose nonprofit center is sanctioned by the Chinese government to host workshops and teach English in China. “There's great emphasis placed (on) whether they will be good at sports or good at music, academics, whatever you need to know to get them started in specific classes geared toward those disciplines. This is just part of many traditions.”

When children have their first birthdays, she said, some parents will have them crawl toward some items placed in their path.

"If they pick up a pen, they'll be a great writer some time, for example," she said. "This is just an expression of nurturing your child. Not many people believe it's scientific, or that palm reading is scientific."

Walker said she suspects the tests also might have been appealing because of China's one-child policy that limits Chinese parents to a single child.

"If you have one child, you really want them to succeed," Walker said. "You're going to (do) anything you can to make sure of that."

But Walker said she thinks the Taiyuan government’s ban on the palm-reading tests is a move in "the right direction.”

“I think the palm reading for young children might be misleading and might hinder the children’s future development,” she said.

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Filed under: China • Education
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Greenspam

    Meanwhile, Americans continue to point to the Bible to justify their policies.

    January 31, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Choco monster

      Lol, at least we aren't predicting a kids intelligence.

      January 31, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • SherwoodOR

      Unless we predict based upon the child's demonstrated ability to read the Bible (or any other book) rather than on the relative lengths of the fold lines on his palm.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Sorry, stupid analogy. I am not religious by any degree, but using a book that ultimately just gives moral guidance is NOT the same thing as relying on palm reading or what direction your kid crawls. It WOULD be comparable to looking to the i-ching for guidance, which would not be any worse that the Bible and just fine in my opinion.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • sonnycam1

      well, at least it's still Ok to eat elephant ballz to enlarge the penuss

      January 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • canard

      Name one policy we justify with the Bible.
      Go ahead, I'll wait.

      January 31, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • US Educator

      If a state-funded US preschool comes up with palm reading class and arbitrarily charge the parents for a fee, the head of the preschool will be fired. In addition, the state education secretary will recommend to re-appoint a new school board. If it is a private run kindergarten, parents will likely get a lawyer, going to court for an injunction. CNN will be the gate of the school.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • sharoom

      @canard, how about refusing to recognize gay marriages, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act?

      February 1, 2012 at 4:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike H

      You shoot...and MISS! What is the point of that poor analogy?

      February 1, 2012 at 4:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex20012

      Why do those parents believe palm reading? It is ridiculous.

      February 1, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike


    January 31, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leif

      I would like to see you try to solve a second order non-linear differential equation using the Bible.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • SherwoodOR

      Mr. Leif says, "I would like to see you try to solve a second order non-linear differential equation using the Bible."

      Well, there actually is an esoteric field within Christian theology that studies the Biblical basis of mathematics. And I'm sure that one of those scholars could provide that solution for you.

      Googling is left to the reader as an exercise as this really isn't the proper forum to go into such a complex topic.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • umm no

      Where in the Bible does it tell you the answer to the following question:

      What is the square root of 9?

      Hmm I guess the Bible isn't the answer to everything after all.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ur a tard

      Says the person typing in all caps..... lol

      January 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      Much of math is from the Greeks (pre-biblical and simply amazing what they developed! No one surpassed them for a few thousand years!) and we got Algebra from Muslims. You have to go thousands of years forward to find some Christian mathematicians who pushed the field forward but they only did so on the backs of those amazing Greeks and Muslims who proceeded them and without them we would still be living in the dark ages–no computers, no cell phones, etc. Math doesn't have anything to do with the bible and there certainly isn't a 'biblical basis' for math. You might want to study math history. It is a real subject and you can learn actual information that is true rather than making things up or repeating things that aren't true.

      January 31, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • mamaoffour

      I did not know the bible is an American book

      January 31, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troll_Buster

      I do not like to discriminate people because of their religion. But to say "America is great because of bible" is an insult to American and American values. Some politicians may say the same thing in election year. But the majority of the voters would disagree with it. So don't make silly comment like this in front of well-educated readers.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    THIS is why China will never be an economic or cultural superpower!

    January 31, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • reason

      Too late. They already are an economic superpower. And...are you saying they shoudn't investigate or prohibit the palm reading? This is as silly as teaching "Intelligent Design".

      January 31, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • reason

      And I forgot to mention that China was a cultural superpower centuries before the USA was even born.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • SherwoodOR

      Mr. reason adds, "And I forgot to mention that China was a cultural superpower centuries before the USA was even born."

      The operative word there is was. And the USA was "born" getting on 250 years ago now, ten generations.

      January 31, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      Well, they already are!

      January 31, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • runpac

      @SherwoodOR Was? Do entire cultures just disappear now? A culture is not like an economy, it doesn't constantly fluctuate, traditions are still upheld, rituals practiced, ceremonies observed.
      Do you not recognize the rich history of China dating back nearly 5 millenia? Or do you think that the 230 year-old American "culture" of obesity, ignorance, unwarranted superiority, arrogance, and warmongering is superior?

      January 31, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troll_Buster

      China GDP is now the second largest in the world. It is also a major lender (US$1.13 trillion, and 24% of total, as in Oct 2011) to US government. Average US citizen, including you, now owes Chinese government US$3,800.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. heather

    How could we be worried that China is going to take over?!!! 🙂 We need to instigate (spl?) this sort of behavior.

    January 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • grease my palm

      Praying for Jesus to intervene in your life (as many Americans do) is enlightened behavior???

      January 31, 2012 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mr. Magoooooooooo

    Pretty funny. Different part of the world so it sounds crazy but who am I to judge. If someone wanted to read my child's palm I would laugh knowing that it's bs. If the parent wants it done then I guess what can you do. I guess it's just as crazy to think that talking snakes and rising from the grave is reality. Crazy world of human beings.

    January 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Peter

    Chinese scam nothing unusual about it. They risen to economic status by scams and cheap methods "The copy cat country" or "TCCC" .

    January 31, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troll_Buster

      Can a "copy cat" feed 1.4 billion stomachs, and becomes the largest global center of the world, ranking second largest GDP in the world? Your comment is ignorant and biased.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • JoJo

      Copycat? Perhaps you think of China only as today's industrialized, opened market China. But China's 5,000 years of civilization, culture, history, art, language, religion, technology (shall I go on?) would make that argument invalid in the grand context of things.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:16 am | Report abuse |
    • billybob

      They did copy cat, if they didn't they would be where they were 5000 years ago.

      February 1, 2012 at 5:27 am | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    I wonder why they picked palm reading!? Why not read the tea leaves in their childs cup! I know of few cultures who wouldn't want to be able to "predict" their kids abilities &/or future! To this day the best method for that is to be an attentive, interactive parent! The thing is that what a child excels at during their formative years is seldom what they end up doing for a living! By the time college rolls around, adulthood sets in & other interests have developed! But this is, I suppose, not much different than parent in the US who get on a waiting list for the most prestigious pre-schools..... while they're still pregnant!!

    January 31, 2012 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lise

    They want the test because if the kid is stupid they can dump it and have another one, that's why they want to know when the child is young enough to abandon or kill without extended emotional attachment. It's all about money. This is the same lovely culture that forces every society within their border to celebrate Chinese New Year instead of any other, or kills tigers so old men can get it up, after all. Thousands of years of primitive, greedy, and arrogant culture have made China a burden to the rest of the world, they just don't get how to be human.

    January 31, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Not

      I live in China. You are misinformed and perhaps, a little angry. Which is a nasty combination.

      February 1, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Lise

      So tell me the truth and prove it . . . I'm all ears, and will publicly apologize and admit I'm wrong. Bring it.

      February 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. English Only

    Can ya blame them, they were just trying to make a little coin.....

    February 1, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    @ Lise

    is it simple hate that consumes your goodself or are are you averse to Chinese food?

    God we still have folks who think like this and @ SherwoodOR.

    February 1, 2012 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  11. rooney©

    Palm-reading tests have no place in schools. Unless it's a fortune telling school. I don't know if they even exist.

    February 1, 2012 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. saywhat

    Greed and arrogant culture you say. Well what we have been doing for the past decade in lands thousands of miles away & across oceans and even now are planning more of the same, makes one wonder.

    Aren't we the cute ones, always finding faults and demons in other cultures, demeaning other faiths, origins & race.
    Arrogance is solely our domain.

    February 1, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Lise

      What do you mean by 'we' or 'our' ? Are you trying to make me an American? Touched a nerve did I? LOL!

      February 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ikander

    Why is this such a big deal for people on this board anyway? Palm reading is pretty much the same as horoscopes. The company tried to make money on it. The PRIVATE kindergarten is willing to go along for ride to get a cut and the government cracked down on the thing since it is BS.

    February 1, 2012 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
  14. Troll_Buster

    Think before you make silly comments. Separation of church and school is upheld by US Supreme Court.

    February 1, 2012 at 3:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. whybs

    Palm reading, the bible, koran, etc. are one kahuna POS!

    February 1, 2012 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
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