Author Archives: Yunqian Hsu

Haircut in the First Lunar Month Kills Your Uncle??

正月剪头死舅舅 Zhèng Yuè Jǐan Tóu Sǐ Jìu Jìu This is a Chinese saying that literally means “If you get hair cut in the first month of Chinese lunar calendar, your uncle (your mother’s brother) will die”.   Context: The collector and the informant were talking about weird Chinese sayings and customs heard from parents. The… Continue Reading »

Future Son-in-law and Poached Eggs

Context: The collector asked the informant (as MD) for some Shanghainese folklores. The informant is the mother of the collector.   MD: You know, when a couple in relationship want to make sure parents from each side agree with their marriage, they will visit the woman’s mother. When it is the first visit for the… Continue Reading »

Eggs on Dragon Boat Festival

Context: The collector was interviewing the informant (as MD, the collector’s mother) for folklores. After she told the collector a folklore about eggs, the informant came up with another folklore about eggs. This is a custom the informant practiced in her childhood.   MD: When I was a kid, we (she and her peers) would… Continue Reading »

Bear Granny

Bear Granny Context: The informant is a Chinese student in USC. The collector interviewed the informant (as GL) for tales. The informant then presented a creepy story in English told by his grandfather as a bedtime story. His grandfather is from Chongqing, an inland city in China.     GL: Okay so, there were two… Continue Reading »

No Mirror Facing You When You Sleep

Context: The collector interviewed the informant (as XZ) for superstitions. The informant is a USC student from Los Angeles. Her parents are from China. The conversation was in the collector’s dorm room When the informant saw a mirror on the collector’s bookshelf, she came up with the following folk belief.     Main Piece: Never… Continue Reading »