Folk Belief – China


The house the subject lived in as a child was a new house on old farmland. So there were many bugs in the ground, particularly crickets. The crickets kept the family, especially the father, up at night for years.  And for many years the subject did not understand why there were so many crickets. The subject soon realized that every time a cricket hopped into the house while the mother was present the mother would not do anything to apprehend the cricket. So in actuality there were so many crickets in the house because no one killed them, or more specifically, because the mother would not and would not allow anyone else to kill the crickets. In the Chinese culture crickets are a symbol of good luck. The subject’s mother grew up in Taiwan so crickets didn’t really bother her, her mother was more worried about insects like cockroaches and ants. Furthermore, the subject’s mother was rooted in Chinese tradition and superstition. The subject figured that after a while her dad could not stand the sound of the crickets and sprayed bug killer.

In the advent of colliding cultures the more modern of the two usually prevails. In the mother’s traditional Chinese culture crickets, as plentiful as they probably were, were considered good luck. In American culture, however, they are considered a complete nuisance.