Finishing Your Rice

She remembers that when we was little her mother would tell her that:

“If you do not finish all the rice in your bowl, then you will get one pimple for every grain of rice left in the bowl. Because my parents are Chinese-American, my mother thought that it was very bad to waste food. Because they [her parents] were immigrants, they did not want to waste food and were very adamant about me clearing my plate.”

This proverb is a common Chinese-American story. In some variations it is the child who does not finish their food who gets pimples (as in Kristi’s version), but previously it was the future spouse who would have pimples. Most likely the shift of who has pimples from spouse to the child eating has to do with modern day. Today, children do not necessarily see marriage as an inevitable, or may not look forward to it as they did before. As such, the changing of this saying would more closely fit in with Kristi’s mentality. Kristi says that her parents have strong morals they wish her to adhere to and that wasting food was not acceptable. This story was used to try to get her to stay in line.