An Ugly Husband If You Don’t Eat Your Rice

The informant is a freshman at USC. She’s from the Phillipines, where she was born and raised. She talks about a quirky superstition that runs in the family.


Chelsea: “My mom told me, when I was young, that if I didn’t finish all the rice on my plate that the remaining rice on my plate would like somehow tie in with my future husband’s appearance.  So, if I left, like a lot of rice on my plate she would say that my future husband would have a lot of pimples on his face.”


Me: “Is that something your grandma told your mom and she passed it down to you?”


Chelsea: “Probably. I feel like it’s been running through the family for a while. I don’t know, but my cousins, they all say it. It’s just like , I think it’s like to make you finish your food though.”


Me: “So what was the significance of this superstition and how did it affect your behavior?”


Chelsea: “I personally don’t think there’s much significance, but it certainly made us eat all of the rice every time (laughs).”


This piece of folklore was funny to me. Parents often have trouble getting kids to finish all of the food on their plate. This story tells about a method of getting young girls to eat their food. I would have listened to this story in my earlier years. Women begin to fantasize about husbands at a very young age, so this folklore can prove to be very effective. According to Chelsea, she and her sisters finished their rice from there on out.