Adulthood
Folk speech

She’s Seen the Moon

“Anytime a girl has her first period, they tell her she’s finally seen the moon.”

 

The informant heard this phrase from her mother, who, in turn, heard it from her cousin. The informant’s mother is Cameroonian and in their culture people speak in a roundabout way. You are not supposed to say directly that someone has started menstruating, so, instead, they used this phrase. According to the informant, women are connected to the moon and their periods have to do with the lunar cycle. She said that the moon changes every twenty-eight days and that a woman’s cycle is twenty-eight days.

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