Author Archives: Codie Sander

El sordo no olle, pero compone

”El sordo no olle, pero compone.”

The deaf person doesn’t hear, but he composes.

“If someone isn’t really paying attention I guess, or they do something wrong so that it’s obvious they weren’t paying attention, people use this to call you out. My mom would use it a lot whenever we were being bad in general though.

I found this proverb interesting, mainly because I couldn’t necessarily think of an equivalent one in English. The context in which it is used is one that I (and many others, I’m sure) am familiar with; I am curious to know why some cultures have a niche for this particular proverb and others don’t. The proverb appears to reference the composition of music, and implicates that composing music without having the ear to listen to it is a foolish venture at best.


Sana Sana

”Sana Sana, Colita de Rana”

“Heal Heal, butt of the frog”

“Whenever someone gets a boo-boo, you rub it and say the phrase. It’s supposed to make it feel better. I learned it from my family, mostly from the women (Mom, Grandma, Aunt). It wasn’t really something men in the family would do. It was done a lot more to my brother than it was to me, cause he was a baby and always cried. It actually does sound kind of ridiculous once you translate it *laughs out loud*”

Boo-boo’s are an inevitable part of the rowdy and rambunctious days of childhood. Scrapes, cuts, and bruises happen regularly, and most parents have their own ways of cheering (or toughening) their children up. This example I found interesting, as I had never heard it before. I laughed along with the informant and my roommate at the translation of the phrase. I would even contend that the ridiculousness of the phrase (and the humor resulting from it) may be the overall point of the custom; one of the best ways to distract anyone from pain is to make them laugh.

I also found the gender component of the custom interesting. There seems to be some sort of cultural stigma against men “babying” their children in this instance, something I can relate to from my own childhood.


”PLUR stands for peace, love, unity, and respect. It originated in rave culture, probably in the 90’s. That was when everything started out, wearing beads to a rave I guess started as a way for people to hide their pills. PLUR is a belief, or a way of life (or way of rave, haha), it’s like a way you’re supposed to act at those kind of events. I probably learned it at my first rave, back in high school. Junior year or so. ’08 or ’07 I think. I guess some people change the order of the letters to what they think the most important parts are. A friend of mine says LURP instead, so love comes first, followed by unity and so on). PLUR isn’t really taken that seriously anymore, at least in mainstream rave cultures. Not many people know what it actually means anymore.”

Most large social events have a certain etiquette; a set of principals by which those attending these events can base their behavior. For raves and modern music festivals, PLUR is used as the overarching rule. In events like raves, which can have radically different social norms then one might see in everyday life, it is often important to establish some kind of mutually agreed-upon code of conduct.

Even though the controversy and negative attitude surrounding rave events may have subsided in recent years, the events are still subject to intense scrutiny.  PLUR may serve as both a unifying moral code to those attending the events, and a sort of response to the negative labels that were initially attached to rave events.


”There’s a lot of different rock formations from the Earth. I guess the crystals absorb energy from the earth and are supposed to have positive effects. I have a Himalayan pink salt crystal that’s supposed to clear out bad energy, make it drop down towards the floor. It’s supposedly good for allergies and things like that. Different crystals are supposed to affect your chakras. Blue crystals are for the throat chakra, and I think green are for the stomach. Quartz is supposed to amplify your existing characteristics. Tiger eye is supposed to help with lethargy.”

Many believe that crystals have metaphysical properties, and can aid in healing or even improve one’s spiritual wellbeing. The informant had her collection of crystals on hand as she spoke about them, and we examined each one in turn. Crystals are fascinating natural constructs to many people (my grandfather loved to collect and talk about them), and I find the idea that they can have some effect on a persons physical and mental state intriguing, to say the least. Some crystals do have the ability to emit electricity when put under pressure, so while I don’t necessarily know if I place full stock in their alleged abilities, I am also entirely open to entertaining the possibility.

The 13th Zodiac

”I guess, because of the movement of the stars or something like that, the zodiacs should actually change over time. Which is why there’s supposed to be an extra zodiac in addition to the 12. I have heard that the 13th zodiac is supposed to be an evolved form of Scorpio, something that they move to at a certain level of knowledge. Scorpios are normally fiery, dark, and very sexual. They’re high energy and masculine. How my friend (who is a Scorpio) interpreted this evolution is that Scorpios will lose the negative aspects of these traits and become a better person because of it.”

Belief in the zodiac is something that has fluctuated over time. In recent years, the belief seems to have reemerged strongly. Like all folk beliefs, the iterations and nuances of the belief change over time as they feed into new generations. The above example illustrates how some have constructed an interpretation of the fabled “13th Zodiac”. In this particular instance, some have taken to modifying an existing zodiac to fill the role of the 13th Zodiac.

This modification of the existing Zodiac may be a result of modern culture, in which ideals like enlightenment and self-actualization are held strongly. The person from whom the informant learned about this belief was himself a Scorpio, and found this particular perspective meaningful. This could be born out of a desire to retain the positive traits associated with the sign, while leaving room to grow out of or improve upon the negative ones.