Nationality: Vietnamese, American
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: April 17, 2018
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Vietnamese
The interviewer’s initials are denoted through the initials BD, while the informant’s responses are marked as MT.
BD: So tell me about why your mom always tells you to eat everything.
MT: In Vietnam, if you don’t finish your bowl of rice, the number of rice grains left in your bowl corresponds with the amount of acne on your spouse’s face. My mom believes this superstition. I don’t know where she learned it from. It’s common among most Asian cultures.
BD: Does everyone in your family believe it?
MT: Yeah, pretty much. Though it’s silly, I think it’s one of those things you never acknowledge, but you try to maintain. But I’m mostly just hungry. So I eat everything anyways.
I had heard a similar idea from my mother, and I found it interesting to hear the same idea in another culture. Though most people here in America say to finish all your food, because there are people who go without, this is an entirely different perspective on a reason to finish food. This belief also reinforces the values of Vietnamese culture, the future-orientation towards one’s future spouse.