Mother’s superstitions

Background Information: Eumin is a freshman at USC, and she speaks Konglish, or a mixture of Korean and English, with her mother at home. I interviewed her about some of the superstitions her mother has.

Ankita: Can you tell me about some of the superstitions your mom has?

Eumin: Ya so if I walk around the house without socks on, because um, if my feet are too cold for most of the time, um I won’t be able to get pregnant.

Ankita: Wow, really?

Eumin: Yeah. Or like, she really believes in herbal essences… Like, if I’m feeling sad or something… Like, last semester, like during finals, she shipped me this bottle of lavender extract, and she told me like, Eumin, you NEED to put two drops of this in your water.

Ankita: Is this something just your mom believes in, or is it a more common Korean thing too?

Eumin: A lot of it does stem from Korean things, and I think her being religious also, kind of amplifies her superstitions.

Ankita: What’s her religion?

Eumin: She’s Christian.

Ankita: Do you ever subconsciously find yourself following these or believing in them?

Eumin: Um… yeah. Like, my mom also told me to never write my name in red ink, because that means I’ll die, or like, something really bad’s gonna happen to me. So like, I never write my name in red ink, ever. I dunno, it’s just that’s she’s told me that since I was young, so I’ve kind of just never done it and probably never will.

Thoughts: It is interesting how superstitions guide the everyday lives and practices of many people. In Eumin’s mother’s case, she tries to make sure Eumin follows some of these as well, as a way of caring for her, and wanting to make sure she is healthy. It is also interesting how Eumin herself became subconsciously conditioned into following some of these