Letter From The Bureau Podcast: What’s your star sign? In Taiwan, that could be a conversation kickstarter

A TV news story on the horoscope signs that are the most likely to run traffic lights is just one example of how horoscopes are deeply embedded into the lives of Taiwanese. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM TAIWAN SETNEWS/YOUTUBE

Synopsis: Every first Friday of the month, The Straits Times’ foreign editor Bhagyashree Garekar chats with ST’s correspondents in the Asia-Pacific, the US and Europe.

They talk about life as it goes on, amid the screaming headlines and bubbling crises.

Many Taiwanese of all ages have a fascination with Western astrology, and the signs (pun intended) are everywhere.

Every morning, on television news channels, it is not uncommon to see horoscope forecasts running along the bottom of the screen, next to major headlines and the day’s weather forecast. On dating apps, people often list their horoscope signs alongside basic information such as name, age, occupation and hobbies.

How seriously do the Taiwanese take advice from astrologers? In this episode, she chats with ST’s new Taiwan correspondent Yip Wai Yee.

Highlights (click/tap above):

1:15 How Taiwanese bring up horoscopes in daily conversations; how seriously do they take advice from astrologers?

5:45 In a society that has to deal with China’s aggressive geopolitics, how is astrology a way for people to “deal with uncertainty”?

8:00 Why Western astrology is so popular with Taiwanese?

9:24 More about Ms Jesse Tang, the modern-day YouTube star of Western horoscopes in the Chinese language, was named one of Asia’s Most Influential (Taiwan) personalities by Tatler Asia magazine in 2021 and 2022

Read Yip Wai Yee’s article: https://str.sg/wFkv

Produced by: Bhagyashree Garekar (bhagya@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Hadyu Rahim and Fa’izah Sani

Edited by: Hadyu Rahim and Fa’izah Sani

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