Category Archives: general

Water Babies of Pyramid Lake – Legend

Water Babies of Pyramid Lake


Long ago there was a Native American woman who had two children. She took her children down to the river to bathe them but they were dragged under the current. When she discovered her children’s death she took them to a burial sight to bury them. She cried so hard over her children’s grave that it filled with water and became pyramid lake. The woman then laid by the lake to watch her children where she turned to stone. To this day her babies can be heard in the lake and they drag unsuspecting victims down to drown them.


“I heard this story many times growing up as a kid and visiting the lake. Pyramid lake was on an Indian reservation so it always had some mysticism too it. I remember some of my uncles telling me the story while on a boat in the lake. After they told the story they threw me in to scare me. I guess I’m not much better than them now cause I use the story to scare my little cousins or brother whenever we visit.”


Pyramid Lake near Reno Nevada is often seen as a mysterious lake as it is a salt water lake with no outlets. The use of tears in the legend is used to describe why the lake is a salt water lake and its odd positioning without any outlets. The myth likely stems from the mysticism surrounding the Native American reservations that the lake lies on. Similar to the story of poltergeist and similar legends in which native Americans play a key role, the guilt of the actions taken by American settlers has led to stories of vengeful native spirits. Some state that the legend stems from the lake being used as a location where malformed native babies were drowned. All in all the legend of the pyramid lake water babies is another relic from the colonial Americans atrocities.

Armenian Love


Romanization of Armenian: Dzhigyart utem

Direct Translation: “I’ll eat your liver.”


KT: It’s an expression of strong love, usually said to a child. I think it’s kind of similar to the English phrase “I could eat you right up.” 

KT has only heard the phrase said between family members, though he has no idea where it could have originated from.


Cuteness aggression is an odd but well-documented phenomenon. Common examples are loving a pet so much you want to squeeze it even though you would never hurt it. It is interesting that similar phrases have developed in many languages around the world. In Turkish, the translated phrase is the same and used in the same context. In Tagalog, the phrase “gigil” which means something is cute but refers specifically to the action of gritting your teeth because a baby is so cute.

To be Turkish


Romanization of Turkish: Ne mutlu Turkum Diyene

Direct Translation: “How happy is the one who says I am a Turk!”

IC: It sounds confusing, but it means that anyone can identify as Turkish. Like if you went to Turkey and started living there and said “okay I’m Turkish now” most people would be like “lit you’re Turkish”.


JS (interviewer): Why do you think this expression is used? Is it considered easy to be a part of Turkish culture?

IC: It’s more so why is it so hard to be part of any other culture? It originated because when the founder demolished the Ottoman Empire he realized a bunch of ethnicities lived in these borders (and the region as a whole is just a mixing pot), and it was like, we are building this nation now, anyone who lives here, anyone who wishes can be Turkish. Anyone who died in battle on these grounds (coming from other countries to fight Turkey) they are also now our “sons”. I feel like it is used to say “I may be ethnically xyz but I’m also a Turk.” My grandparents are Kurdish and fathers side Asian (Tatar) and maybe that’s why it was so prevalent to me. It doesn’t matter your background, it matters what you want to be a part of.

IC is an international student from Turkey. They were born and raised in Turkey and only moved to the United States to attend college at USC. 


I have heard through other Turkish friends that Turkish culture is very open and accepting, which is a stark contrast to most Western countries. They value their culture. If other people value their culture and values just as much, they are already participating in an important part of what makes somebody Turkish. Additionally, a majority of Turkey developed under the Ottoman Empire and Islamic culture. Islam promotes hospitality and kindness, and welcomes anybody regardless of who they were before. Turkey has adopted these traditions and has ingrained this idea of hospitality and welcome into Turkish culture.

Spanish Soothing


Spanish: “Sana, Sana, Colita de Rana”
Direct Translation: “Heal, Heal, butt of the frog.”


DGM: It refers to soothing a child when they are upset or crying. I heard it from my family, though I have no clue why it exists, but it’s funny to say so maybe that helps calm kids down after they get hurt.


This may have begun as a grounding technique for injured or upset children. An example of this is saying something shocking to an adult to snap them out of a spiral, or telling someone to put an ice cube in their mouth when they are having a panic attack. The expression distracts them from why they were upset in the first place and forces them to focus on something else. Often children don’t know how to regulate their emotions well, they are still learning. Saying something silly can distract them and make it easier for them to calm down.

Filipino Gesture of Respect


JT: In the Philippines, a sign of respect for elders is to place the back of their right hand on your forehead.

JT: It’s a greeting, if you were to go up to your grandfather or grandmother. I think it’s really funny if you do it to someone who is not that old. Like if my 5-year-old cousin went up to me and did that I would be like “Bro I’m like 20!”.

JT was born in America, but both of his parents are Filipino. When he visits family in the Philippines he will greet his grandparents in this manner.


This is a folk gesture that acts as a sign of respect, similar to a Japanese bow. Commonly, signs of respect are words or phrases spoken to elders. This gesture is prevalent throughout the Philippines, and JT emphasized that respect is an important part of Filipino culture.