My informant is Mondana. Mondana is a 21-year-old student at California State University of Sacramento. She was born and raised in Sacramento, California but her parents and ancestors are from Iran and they are all Persian.
Do you have any Persian traditions or customs?
Mondana: “Yeah weddings have a lot of traditions, for the bride whenever she gets married we set a table for her and the groom and on the table are spices and herbs and decorated objects and other gifts. Things like honey and sugar that represent good, sweet things. Then during the ceremony there’s a part where we drape the bride and groom over with a sheer linen and all the other married woman in attendance go up to them and rub sugar together and drop sugar on them so they’ll have a happy marriage”
Is this at every wedding?
Mondana: “Every Persian wedding that’s traditional I have seen it at”
When did you first see this custom?
Mondana: “Well probably the first wedding I went to when I was like 3 years old”
Are you going to have this at your wedding? Is it important to you?
Mondana: “Yeah I will. It is important it means a lot to my mom and my grandmother”
Is the meaning more significant or the fact that you want the good luck?
Mondana: “Oh I think, well I’m very superstitious and I want the luck, but it’s just tradition and a lot of cultures have them and it makes you closer to yours when you keep tradition”
Persians are a very large group of people that are very culture oriented from my experience so it is not a surprise they would have a custom at every wedding such as this one. I think it’s interesting how large a part of the ceremony the draping and dropping of sugar is compared to a Western marriage superstition like something borrowed, blue, old and new. Mondana takes pride in this custom and is adamant that she would do this at her wedding, to appease her mother and grandmother, but also because she is superstitious and custom. This custom will undoubtedly live on as Mondana has seen this at every wedding and she has no plan to discontinue the custom. I think it is a great gesture and a heart-warming feeling to know you are having the same wedding and practicing the same customs as your ancestors, and they would be proud.
The Dance Studio (Myth)
My informant is Laura Gabrielson. Laura is an 18 year-old, female student at USC. Laura is white and grew up in Denver, Colorado her whole life.
Laura: “So at my dance recital place, it’s like a community college for people with disabilities but they have this huge stage and it was where we would perform. And I guess a long time ago the stage manager was in a wheel-chair so he had to be lifted on to different parts of the stage by elevator. I don’t know if it was a hand pull one or electric but yeah an elevator. But one time his wheels weren’t locked in the elevator and he rolled off and fell and died into like this huge pit kind of thing, and now they have these boards taped out over it and no one will ever walk on it. Like you have to walk around it”
What happens if you do walk on it? Like bad luck or what?
Laura: “I think it’s just like creepy like he died there. He’s down there”
Do people think his spirit is there?
Laura: “No, literally people think he’s still down there. When the story was told it was like he’s still down there so you are gonna walk all on him”
Did you believe in it?
Laura: “I believed someone died there but I don’t think the guy is still down there. I definitely never walked on it though it was too creepy and no one did”
This myth is about an old man dying under a stage but it just sounds like drama superstition to me. Laura doesn’t recall any details about the man or the story and basically he just died there and is said to be down there. It’s interesting how everyone continuously refuses to step on that spot and even more interesting how normal it is. I think like with a lot of other folklore people don’t believe it but go along partially with the crowd and partially out of fear that something will go wrong. They don’t want to test fate.