USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘blue’
Folk Beliefs
general

German companies don’t make blue gummy bears.

The informant believes that German companies do not make blue gummy bears because the point of gummy bears is to make children happy when they eat them. In Western culture, the color blue is often associated with sadness, so the informant believes that German companies don’t create blue gummy bears, because they may make children sad. This is a folk belief that is associated with superstitions in Western Culture with the phrases “the blues” and “I’m feeling blue” that is often used.

Regardless of whether or not this belief is true, the informant firmly believes that no German company makes blue gummy bears. She states that she doesn’t know if blue gummy bears are made in any other countries, like America, but is insistent when it comes to the fact about German companies. The informant grew up with a German mother and grandparents and makes frequent visits to Germany. She speaks fluent German and heard this belief from her grandparents when she was a young child.

I agree with her analysis of why a German company wouldn’t make blue gummy bears, as “feeling blue” is a very western concept. However, when looked up, sources say that the German company Haribo Goldbears which creates gummy bears does not create blue gummy bears because there is no fruit or plant with bright blue extract color with which to make these gummy bears with. Furthermore, “to feel blue” in German is not to feel sad, as it is in the English language, but it means to feel drunk. It is interesting to note the intersections of cultures within this piece of folklore, and as the informant is both American and has German origins, it makes sense why she believes it completely. It would be interesting to research the ways in which this piece of folklore traveled and changed possibly through the Historic Geographic Method, to see where the color blue and sadness intersected to cause this belief.

Folk speech
general
Proverbs

Proverb – China

????

“Green comes from Blue”

Shanling told me that she learned this proverb/idiom when she was in Chinese school in Denver, Colorado. She said that she first heard it when she was about 14 years old and was learning how to snowboard. According to Shanling, the proverb signifies when a pupil has surpasses his master at one activity. The master is symbolized by the color blue and the student by the color green. When a teacher (blue) has taught his knowledge to his pupil, the pupil will become like him so it becomes green. Also, according to Shanling, the color green is more beautiful according to Chinese culture so that is why it is said that the student has surpassed the master. One example that she gave me was when she was learning how to snowboard. She said that after just a couple of days of lessons from her friend she got so good that her friend told her that she might be better than her. She told me that her friend said that she learned quickly because “green come from blue.” She likes the idea that green is more beautiful than blue and that is why she think the proverb means that the pupil has surpassed the master.

I think I agree with Shanling to some details, but other details are no so clear. I do agree that green come from blue can be a good representation of a teacher – pupil situation. The teacher is giving knowledge to the student and this will shape the student to be more like the teacher. However, the part that I do not understand is why they are inquiring that the pupil has surpasses the master. In my opinion, the master stays as the dominant person because blue is a primary color while green is a secondary color. This proverb can be use in many situations nowadays. We have many situations where teachers are trying to shape students to become just like them, if not better. This happens not only intellectually but also in sports and politics. This proverb tells7 students that it they try hard enough they can become almost like their teacher and in some rare situations better than them.

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