Nazar or the “Evil Eye

Background/Context:The interlocutor (AG) is a roommate of the interviewer (INT). She grew up in the Bay Area with a rich Punjab heritage. Description: (told over text)(AG): “The evil eye for Punjabis is called nazar, and like other cultures it means someone is jealous of your successes. It has to do with people’s auras, so if… Continue Reading »

Eyelash wishing game – Arabic Children’s Folk Game

Context: She was in an all-girls elementary school in Jordan when she learned this game. She thought that it was silly, and did not pay much mind to it, saying that “girls, usually teenagers, like to make wishes.” There are two versions of this game that she remembers. Game (Version 1): The game involves two… Continue Reading »

“The monkey in his mom’s eye is a gazelle” – Arabic Proverb

Context: She learned it from her mom and grandma in Jordan. She said that the proverb means that a mom never finds a fault in her child. Text: Original Script: القرد بعين امه غزال Transliteration: El ‘ird bi aine immo ghazal Literal Translation: The monkey in his mom’s eye is gazelle Smooth Translation: The monkey… Continue Reading »

Black Eyed Peas and Collard Greens on New Years

The informant is from South Carolina and recounts a New Years tradition from the region. T: On New Year’s Day, in the South, everybody cooks black eyed peas and collard greens. The back eyed peas are good for money. The black eyed peas represent the change and the collard greens is the cash. And that’s… Continue Reading »