The informant is a freshman at USC. She’s from the Philippines, where she was born and raised. She talks about why it’s tradition to throw rice at Philippine weddings.
Chelsea: “Okay so in my culture, in the Philippines, when people get married, instead of flowers, they throw rice.”
Me:” Like the flower girl ?”
Chelsea: “Yeah, like the flower girl. She throws grains of rice. Like, uncooked grains of rice. All around. And then apparently it’s supposed to give you good luck and it makes you prosperous and it’s to make the couple lucky.”
Me: “Okay, so who told you that?”
Chelsea: “My aunt told me.”
Me: “And what does it mean to you?”
Chelsea: “I love rice (laughs) and I don’t think you should waste it like that.”
Me: “So when your grandma got married and your mom got married, did they throw rice?”
Chelsea: “I don’t know but when my aunt got married, my cousin and I were the flower girls and we had to throw rice.”
Me: “So in your country, it’s good luck and prosperity?”
It’s interesting that this folklore piece is an integration of symbolism and superstition with wedding rituals. In the Philippines, rice is thrown and symbolic of prosperity, while American culture uses flowers as the element of life and good fortune. I then wonder if American culture has a flower girl, would the technical term for Philippines be a ‘ rice girl’ ?…
For more folklore on Philippine Wedding customs, visit “Philippine Wedding Customs and Superstitions.” Asian Recipes. Web. 20 Apr. 2016.