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

Fans and Heaters

The following is a superstition or belief of the informant based on stories from their parent.  I am represented by a K and the informant is represented by an S.

Piece:

K: Alright, so go ahead and tell me about your superstition.

S: Uhm, uh, my mom used to always tell me that I wasn’t allowed to keep the heater or a fan on, uhm, like when I’m going to sleep. Uhm… and it was always like a weird thing ’cause I always get really warm at night, uhm, especially in Virginia, where I’m coming from.  And, uh, so like she was always saying like, uhm, that apparently, like the – the blades of- of- of a fan, could like… attack you… or like suck you in in the middle of the night. And she said that- she was always like- it’s dangerous!!! So, it’s just something that I think about a lot whenever I like leave my fan on in the summer- and I’m like – I hope I don’t die tonight! Sorry mom!

Context:

The informant is a 20-year-old sophomore at USC.  We were sitting in a room with a group of friends, going around and sharing traditions or superstitions we all had.  When we got to her, she mentioned this story.  She was sitting on a couch in a living room setting in the Village apartments.  We were all just talking and eating food.

My Thoughts:

This is definitely a belief told by the informant’s mother to keep her daughter safe.  While the informant’s mother could be scared of fans, she most likely told her daughter this belief in order to keep her as safe as possible because fans can definitely be dangerous.

Customs
Folk Beliefs

“Fight Heat with Heat”

“Fighting heat with heat. During the hot and humid summers, Koreans have the belief that eating hot or spicy things can cool you down, as well being in hotter places.”

Grace explained this seemingly paradoxical statement, that after being in an even hotter place or eating a hot thing, the original hot temperature of the summer will seem cool. She said that hot soups and spicy dishes are popular to eat in the summer, as well as are Korean spas. These spas are called jjimjilbangs, which have hot rooms of varying temperatures, in which people basically go inside to sweat. Supposedly after being in these rooms, people feel refreshed and cool, and sweating is even suppose to improve the skin, working also as a beauty treatment. She herself partakes of this tradition, as for some reason when the weather starts to turn hotter, she’ll find herself attracted to steaming soups and enjoys visiting the jjimjilbangs with her friends.

At first I found this tradition to be a bit puzzling, but after Grace’s explanation, I came to understand it. I’m not sure if I can personally relate to it, as when summer comes, I find myself craving ice cream and smoothies, not hot soups, but it does make sense that after being in a hotter condition, the original condition does not seem as bad.

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