Thursday, 24 January 2013

Traditions and whatnots

In Malaysia, the Chinese have their own way of traditions and believes that most pregnant woman will follow.  While I am sure these traditions and believe has its reason, some of it, I don't understand.  So what I want to write about is the traditions and believes that is imposed on all Chinese pregnant ladies in Malaysia.  While some choose not to believe in it and carry out their pregnancy like the rest of the world, there are some that really stick with their believes and try to follow it this tradition.  Here are a few examples...

According to the chinese tradition, it is ok to eat sushi that contains raw fish.  Apparently raw fish is good for the baby but no octopus or any squid, because it is believed that if the pregnant lady ate a squid or an octopus, the long tentacles will wrap around the baby's neck and kill it while the baby is still in mother's womb.  When I first heard this, I tried very hard not to laugh out loud because this is one of the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of.  How is it, that raw fish filled with bacteria, is good for the baby and squids are bad.  Does it mean after we eat the squid or octopus, the squid/octopus will come alive and continue to grow while makes its way down to wherever the baby is, with a mission to kill the baby??  Seriously?? 

A pregnant woman is not allowed to carry or hold a scissors.  I don't know why but apparently it is not allow.  It is not like the pregnant woman is running with a scissors around the house, but according to tradition, they are not allowed.  I did ask my friend what was the reason, she could not answer me but she still follows it.  So when a stitching in her top came loose, she told me where the scissor was and told me to cut it for her because she is not allowed to hold a scissors.
No soda or carbonated drinks because the bubbles is bad for the baby but for pregnant woman can to drink copious amounts of coffee or any other caffeinated drinks.  Initially I though it was because of the caffeine in some of the carbonated drinks so I gave her a list of non caffeinated carbonated drinks. But she told me the bubbles from the carbonated drinks is bad for the baby.  Why, she don't know.

There are other Chinese traditions to follow after the woman has given birth.  One that I find very hard to understand is that for the first 30 days after giving birth, the woman is not allowed to take a bath or shower.  My best friend E, when she gave birth to her first child, her mother told her she is not allowed to wash her hair, no AC and no fan.  There was a long list of food she is not allowed to eat and she would have to consume a massive amount of ginger.

I think E was able to stand the whole no-shower ordeal for about a week before she could not take it anymore. She locked her door and took a long shower.  Her mother was upset, saying that taking a shower would cause serious damage to her body.  I think in the past, a long time ago, they would use well water or perhaps river water to bath.  The bacteria filled water would had not be good for a new mother. But these days, water are filled through reservoir and now we can hot water whenever we want.  I don't see why these rules needs to still followed.

There are so many other traditions that I think are so antiquated but there are still people out there following these traditions. I do believe in preserving the tradition for the future but  I think some tradition, we could sure live without. Is there any tradition that you find ridiculous, yet you or someone you know still follows it?  Tell me about it....

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