Context: This piece is was an interview that I directly copied every word said. The participants name is Jonathan. I had asked the participate in advance over phone if he had any folklore and he asked what I meant by that. After giving a few example he said he actually did have something to share. So we met in his apartment a few hour later. We entered the kitchen and sat down at the table. Main piece: Me: “So… what is this story you have to tell me” Jonathan: “ Well… I am not superstitious or anything and I don’t believe in ghost but I still did see something one night and strange things happened after that” Me: “I am sorry do you mind speaking a bit slower so I could write everything down” Jonathan: “ ughh sure… So I was telling you. Well when I was about eight in the middle of the night I got up to go pee. So I went to the restroom right and when I was coming out I saw a figure in my room. So I was shocked… like I mean I was super scared and so it moved right outside my bedroom door into this big hallway my parents house had… I don’t know why but I went to the doorway to see what it was. I was honestly so fucken scared because dude I saw like a person but they had horns! And it had a long pointy tail. I just froze… and then it just disappeared. Me: “that crazy… just give me a sec… ok so what do you think you saw” Jonathan: “I think I saw the devil.” Me: “ not that I don’t believe you or anything but have you ever considered maybe you dreamt this. Not in any offensive way” Jonathan: “see that’s what trips me out the most! So after I remember just turning on all the lights and I just stayed awake sitting on my bed. I never went back to sleep. Like I never woke up so I was always awake. Do you get what I am saying? I can’t explain it” Background: Jonathan is a 19-year-old college student whose ethnicity is half Cuban and Half Mexican. He is a sophomore attending UCLA. He has stated that he grew up in a home where they do not believe in superstition or anything supernatural. He is a firm believer in science and what could be explained. My Thoughts:I cannot say whether or not I believe Jonathan; however, this is a prime example of how folklore begins and how these stories get passed on. Rather than telling me a story Jonathan has heard, he told me his own experience and encounter with paranormal activity. Jonathan has told this story to other people and now people and now many people believe his room is haunted by Satan himself. While there is no hard evidence to the event ever happening many people still believe the story to be true. The power of folklore and one sharing narratives is clearly displayed.
Bryan : A baptism is like um something your parents are supposed to do before you turn one. You have to um um get baptized when you are young so they can wash away all the sins away and you can start a Christian life. If your parents wait to get you baptized its pretty much like bad because um babies can get a lot of bad vibes and I just know something bad happens. This is why my mom would always tell my brother to not take out my niece to places far away because they can get sick and stuff. And then if you don’t get baptized they say you are no Christian and can’t do any of the communions or even a quincenera. They literally would make you get baptized so you can do everything else. So getting baptized is a must in my family.
Before you turn one year old, you need to get baptized. When you are born you need to get washed.
Context: I arranged an interview with Bryan at a Starbucks. It was loud and their seemed to be a business meeting a few tables away. Bryan was talking loudly so I could hear. Background: Bryan was born in Guatemala but came to the Unites States when he was a baby. He was raised in a predominately Hispanic community. He is currently attending California State Long Beach where he is studying Philosophy Analysis: Bryan’s version of a common religious practice is informal and vague; however, it still shows a common myth. Although, it is not completely sacred to Bryan, you can tell by the manner in which he spoke about the subject that it is taken with seriousness by his parents and the church. This part of the religious belief influenced the manner in which my mother took care of a child. It also influenced the churches decision in not allowing anyone to practice the catholic religion without being baptized first.
Main Piece: So in the wrestling team we also did kinda have like another ritual. I mean it was kinda hazing but everyone had to do it or else they wouldn’t really be considered part of the team. It wasn’t like harassment or anything (he said this with a joking tone and giggling at the same time). Well after… each year after tryouts whoever made the team would have to get the old singlets from like people who had been in the team and wear them for an entire day. It’s like a tradition we have… well more like an initiation. For us it symbolized like following in the footsteps of more senior teammates. I am pretty sure though it is also for fun. Context: I arranged with Bryan at a Starbucks. It was pretty loud and their seemed to be a business meeting a few tables away. Bryan was talking loudly so I could hear. Background: Bryan was born in Guatemala but came to the Unites States when he was a baby. He was raised in a predominately Hispanic community. He is currently attending California State Long Beach where he is studying Philosophy. Analysis: In Bryan example of hazing, we can see a type of folk ritual called initiation. Before any person is accepted to the team, the need to be initiated by symbolic tradition. It is very similar to other types of initiations in which a person must pledge themselves by doing some kind of an embarrassing act. For example, this ritual is similar to sororities initiations that allow them to be part of their group.
Main context: Me: Are there any other games you learned from a friend or just other people in general? Kevin: Let me think… oh ok got it. When I was a kid I learned how to play a game called 18 help me. Me: Oh cool. What is the game about. Kevin: Essentially, it’s a different variation of tag. You would try to get 18 players but usually you could not so I always just played with whatever number of people we had. So first you had to choose someone to be it. We would all put one foot into a circle and choose one foot to start at and up to 18 around the feet and whoever had 18 land on their foot was it… After I remember we would have 18 seconds to run before whoever was it would chase us. To win the game you had to get everyone but each person you got would then help you. Essentially you would have to put your hand on the other person and say 18 help me. If you did not say everything while touching them then you wouldn’t have got them. When you do get them they go and help you get the rest of the people until everyone has been tagged. After that then everyone would huddle again and whoever was tagged first in the last game would now be it. Then again you had 18 seconds to run before getting chased again and the game would be played over and over again until we uh were exhausted… or until fell and got hurt. Me: Sounds fun. What does the game mean to you? Kevin: Now that I really think about it, it is actually pretty important. I remember playing 18 help me every time I would go over to my tia’s (aunt) house. I have a lot a good memories hanging out with all my cousins. It somewhat like brought us together but now that we are all in college… we really don’t see each other that often. Background: Kevin is a 20 year old attending California State University Los Angeles. Both his parents are from El Salvador but he was born and raised in Huntington Park, California. Context: Kevin and I were playing video games and when we took a break to eat I asked him if he could help me with my collection of folklore. He agreed and allowed me to record the conversation with the condition that I would not post the video interview. My thought: I was surprised at how important this folk game is. Although it is a multi-million dollar game such as a sport, its importance is centralized around the people who play it. This folk game brought together a family and served as a platform for bonding. This game is a variation of the common game called tag.
Main Piece: So horse is a basketball game. Well like not an actual game but like you play it with a basketball and you need a court. Basically the game is like a trick shot game. And whoever doesn’t make the shot five times looses. Me: Can you elaborate on that? Ok so the game is played by however number of people you want. First you have to choose a order that the players are going to be in. So the first person goes and could do whatever trickshot they want. So if they miss then it is the next persons turn. If they make it then the next person would have to do the same trick shot. If they make it then the next person would have to the same shot until it goes back to the person who made that trickshot…But if someone misses a tricksot then the person gets a letter. The first letter is H then O then ughh R then S then E. That’s why the game is called horse. And you loose when you spell out horse. Oh so lets say you made a trickshot and then the next person missed it then they get a letter and then the person after him does not have to do that trickshot anymore. Like they could do their own. Context: Kevin and I were playing video games and when we took a break to eat I asked him if he could help me with my collection of folklore. He agreed and allowed me to record the conversation with the condition that I would not post the video interview. We were both sitting on the couch. Background: Kevin is a 20 year old attending California State University Los Angeles. Both his parents are from El Salvador but he was born and raised in Huntington Park, California. Kevin stated that he enjoyed this game very much because it was his way of practicing and having more fun with his friends. He stated that he actually learned this game from his teammates when he would stay after practice and just play with them. Although, he did mention that the version of H.O.R.S.E he plays now is slightly different than when he learned it. The people he plays with now have the rule that if they miss a trickshot that is their own, they will also get a letter. My thoughts: Although folklore has no clear definition, a key component is that you learn it from other people in a non institutional place. This is clearly seen in Kevin’s example. He learns this game from his friends. Also, as stated by Alan Dundes “there must be multiplicity and variation. The game H.O.R.S.E is also fits into the category. There are many different variation to the game but the underlying mechanics of the game are still the same. I have actually played the game and I to learned it from friends. I also know another variation of horse called P.I.G. It is the same game but instead of having five letters you now have three.